Bahrain MRF Challenge: Picariello takes pole in ultra-tight session

Belgian racer Alessio Picariello grabbed pole on his MRF Challenge debut at the Bahrain International Circuit, beating Nikita Troitskiy by just 0.044s.

The 2013 ADAC Formel Masters champion was on the pace throughout the 30-minute session, as he fended off favourites Troitskiy and Pietro Fittipaldi.

But it wasn't a straightforward task, with the top four separated by a mere 0.080s. Tarun Reddy finished third and Tatiana Calderon fourth, the Colombian demoting Fittipaldi to fifth after she improved her time on the last lap.

The returning Sam Dejonghe did well to finish sixth with Sean Walkinshaw at seventh. Apart from an off by British driver Jessica Hawkins bringing out the red flag, the session was completed smoothly under the beamings lights at Sakhir.

The bottom part of the top 10 was completed by Matheus Leist in eighth, Harrison Newey ninth and Nerses Isaakyan 10th. In an ultra-competitive session, the top 11 drivers were separated by 0.838s.

Qualifying Results:

Pos.
DriverTime/Gap
1
 Alessio Picariello
2m03.390s
2
 Nikita Troitskiy
0.044s
3
 Tarun Reddy
0.048s
4
 Tatiana Calderon
0.080s
5
 Pietro Fittipaldi
0.113s
6
 Sam Dejonghe
0.484s
7
 Sean Walkinshaw
0.648s
8
 Matheus Leist
0.714s
9
 Harrison Newey
0.755s
10
 Nerses Isaakyan
0.783s
11
 Max Fewtrell
0.838s
12
 Dylan Young
1.011s
13
 Karthik Tharani
1.750s
14
 Arjun Narendran
1.986s
15
 Laura Tillet
2.239s
16
 Matt Draper
2.446s
17
 Christope Mariot
6.189s
 
 Jessica Hawkins
 

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About this article
Series Indian Open Wheel
Event MRF Challenge: Bahrain
Track Bahrain International Circuit
Article type Qualifying report