A perfect Carbone copy
Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature) followed his team's rising fortunes the latest team to have joined the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The Brazilian made a perfect job of qualifying to take the SuperPole ahead of Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Racing).
During his second run, Fabio Carbone (Ultimate Signature) took the lead with a time of 1'32''195. The race order was shaken up at the end of the session: Julien Jousse (Tech 1 Racing) had the upper hand in 1'31''885, ahead of Giedo Van der Garde (P1 Motorsport) and Alvaro Barba (Prema Powerteam). Miguel Molina (Prema Powerteam) and Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) were the two other drivers to qualify for SuperPole, while Bertrand Baguette (International Draco) and Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin Motorsport) turned out to be the biggest disappointments in the group.
Marco Barba (International Draco Racing) began the session by spinning off the track, ending up in the gravel track and causing the red flag to come out. When the session restarted, Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) was ahead of Fairuz Fauzy (Fortec Motorsport) and Marco Bonanomi (Red Devil Team Comtec). Robert Wickens (Carlin Motorsport) and Alexandre Marsoin (Epsilon Euskadi) improved their times to climb into first and second place, while Bonanomi took third, ahead of the three other SuperPole qualifiers, Pic, Alcaraz (Pons Racing) and Fauzy.
It took a few laps before the twelve SuperPole drivers started hitting the pace. Alex Alacaraz took the initial lead followed by Fairuz Fauzy and Charles Pic. But obviously, the situation was going to change.
Julien Jousse launched the first attack on the times to take the provisional pole ahead of Alvaro Barba and Alexandre Marsoin.
Next, it was the turn of Fabio Carbone to take charge of the session in 1'31''696. Nobody came close to challenging the Brazilian, who gave the Ultimate Signature team its first pole position in the category. Jousse kept a place on the front row. The championship leader, Giedo Van der Garde, only managed sixth position. Charles Pic, eighth in the standings, starts from pole position in the first race.
Fabio Carbone: "This is a great way to pay back the team. We're always quick in collective testing, but until now, we've missed out in qualifying. Today, everything was working well! Our car is perfect. Now we need to prove it in the race. This afternoon, I need to avoid the pitfalls and score some points. I can't wait for the start of the second race. In pole, you can really hope for a good result."
Julien Jousse: "I could feel that pole was in reach, I could really go after it. The car was great, I set a good time this morning, but unfortunately I was hindered at the end of the session during my fastest laps. It's frustrating!'"
Robert Wickens: "We're lying in wait. We had a few small hydraulic problems today that we need to sort out for the race. We're competitive, but it's quite difficult to overtake here. I need to stay calm and above all, finish the races!"