Portimao: Series qualifying report

The F1 effect Just back from his first ever F1 Grand Prix as a driver for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, Carlin Motorsport's Jaime Alguesuari claimed his first pole position in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The Spaniard will start on the front row...

The F1 effect

Just back from his first ever F1 Grand Prix as a driver for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, Carlin Motorsport's Jaime Alguesuari claimed his first pole position in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The Spaniard will start on the front row in the second race with Tech 1 Racing's Charles Pic alongside him. With two races on the programme in the same day, can't afford the slightest error in the heat of the Algarve.

Group A: The Group A drivers were the first to qualify in the blistering Portuguese heat. With an air and track temperatures of 31o.C and 45o.C, it was Fairuz Fauzy who was first to strike, leading the charge, followed by International Draco Racing's Bertrand Baguette and Tech 1 Racing's Charles Pic. Pic responded immediately to claim provisional pole in 1'35"334, however the situation was less favourable for teammate Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian was unable to participate in the qualifying session due to an engine problem. Before coming in to put on fresh tyres, Baguette set the pace with a lap of 1'34"722, but equipped with a new set of slicks, Fauzy went one better, taking the top of the timesheet by lapping in 1'34"126. Not content, the Malaysian driver then improved his lead with a time of 1'33"762. At the end of the technical scrutineering, Fairuz Fauzy's times will be withdrawn for non-compliant weight.Hence Charles Pic picks up Group A leader, ahead of Baguette, KMP Group/SG Formula's Guillaume Moreau and Epsilon Euskadi's Chris Van der Drift.

The Epsilon Euskadi's driver will start from the front row for race 1, thanks to the reverse grid system Group B: Group B was initially led by two Spanish drivers, Epsilon Euskadi's Dani Clos and newly promoted F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari. Alguersuari, pushing as hard as ever, claimed the fastest lap in the group in 1'33"938. Before coming in to fit a new set of tyres, Alguersuari led Dani Clos, Comtec Racing's Albert Valerio and Ultimate Motorport's Miguel Molina. Back out on track once more, Alguersuari finished what he had started, besting Pic's fastest lap. With a time of 1'33"578, the Carlin Motorsport driver had claimed provisional pole.

Dani Clos and Jon Lancaster tried to beat him at the very end of the session, but were unable to shake the Catalan driver. Rather than give away his position, Alguersuari launched one more volley and in one final push set a new fastest lap of 1'33"462. For the first time this season, Alguersuari was in pole position. At the chequered flag, Oliver Turvey set the second fastest lap of the session ahead of Clos and Lancaster. Again, benefitting from the reverse-grid, the British driver put himself in pole position for the first of Saturday's two races.

Quote, unquote:

Jaime Alguersuari: "We have improved with every session, we're quicker and quicker, so I'm very happy with this first pole position. I broke my engine in the free practice; the mechanics have worked very fast to allow me to take part in this session. Now I'm dreaming of a win tomorrow.

Charles Pic: "I'm sick today - I've got a throat infection. It was very difficult in the heat. The track was very different in the afternoon and more splippy. I hope I'll feel better tomorrow because with two races in the same day you have to be 100% fit."

-credit: wsr

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Fairuz Fauzy , Bertrand Baguette , Guillaume Moreau , Oliver Turvey , Miguel Molina , Dani Clos , Charles Pic , Jaime Alguersuari , Jon Lancaster
Teams Toro Rosso , Carlin