Rounds 4, 5 and 6 - Brands Hatch, Kent, England
Qualifying - Saturday 11 November
A dry day and a damp track greeted the Formula Palmer Audi drivers as they arrived at the world-famous Brands Hatch circuit this morning, for qualifying for the final three races of the Autumn Trophy on Brands' 1.2- mile Indy circuit.
The track had dried considerably by the time the first qualifying session got underway, and at the end of it 20 minutes later, Aaron Steele topped the timesheets and earned his first FPA pole position, with a blistering time of 44.517 seconds. Points leader Luciano Bacheta joins Steele on the front row, with Team USA Scholarship pair Robert Podlesni and Dane Cameron in third and fourth.
"It was great!" exclaimed Aaron. "The car felt really strong, but to be honest I'm surprised to have got pole position. There was a bit more traffic than I would have liked and I got blocked a bit, but it was OK in the end."
The greasy conditions off the racing line caused a number of drivers to go off during the session, including Giacomo Petrobelli, Alex Brundle and Stephen Young, all of whom will begin tomorrow's opening race from well down the 22-car grid.
The track was fully dry by the time of the second qualifying session in the afternoon. With the variable of damp track out of the way, the session was incredibly close, with less than a second covering the top 14 drivers. Despite this, the name at the top didn't change, as Steele took pole position again, setting a time of 44.675, storming to pole from Cameron, Brundle and Bacheta.
"I wasn't quite as quick as I was in first qualifying," said Steele, "as it was a bit colder and my tyres had more laps on them. I didn't get a completely free lap but my best was good enough!"
The deciding three races of the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy are all over 26 laps of the Indy circuit, and all take place tomorrow.