For the second time today Max Chilton (Carlin Motorsport) claimed pole position at Silverstone, this time for the second of the two British F3 International Series races. He was joined on the front row by his team mate Daniel Ricciardo, the ...
For the second time today Max Chilton (Carlin Motorsport) claimed pole position at Silverstone, this time for the second of the two British F3 International Series races. He was joined on the front row by his team mate Daniel Ricciardo, the Australian making amends for his disastrous morning session, when he crashed out before he could set a competitive time. Third place went to Riki Christodoulou (Fortec Motorsport), the rookie showing good pace today. National Class pole went to Gabriel Dias (T-Sport) from Daniel McKenzie (Fortec Motorsport).
However, at the start of the session, it was again the Raikkonen Robertson Motorsport pairing of Carlos Huertas and Daisuke Nakajima who made the running. This might well turn out to be a strategic error, but did at least get them some clear air to run in. It was Nakajima who got onto it most effectively, holding off his team mate with relative ease. They were joined by Nick Tandy (JTR), the latter not taking a chance this time and trying to get a banker lap in as soon as possible. It didn't take him long to get that and he was 4th at the end of his first proper lap. Of course there were still a few more drivers to emerge from the pits and try their hands, among them Ricciardo. Meanwhile Victor Correa (Litespeed F3) was leading the National Class from the incredibly erratic Max Snegirev in the West-Tec car. That would only be temporary, given that there were only six cars out there, and they didn't include Dias or McKenzie. Meanwhile, it was the Lloyd and Boyd show again, with the two of them running close together. Hywel Lloyd (C F Racing) went 3rd on his first fast lap while Wayne Boyd (T- Sport) was 8th on the same lap.
The real contenders were mostly lurking in the garages, while others cleaned the track for them. Victor Garcia (Fortec Motorsport) went 4th, just behind Oliver Oakes (Carlin Motorsport), the Spaniard then getting edged out by Boyd as well. Suddenly it was all frantic activity on track, with Dias grabbing the National Class pole from McKenzie, while Renger van der Zander (Hitech Racing) started to carve his way up the order, snatching provisional pole while everyone else attempted to catch him. Ricciardo was on the pace too, moving up the order to 3rd, just two places ahead of Walter Grubmuller (Hitech Racing). The flying Dutchman was deposed quite quickly by the equally flying Christodoulou, while Chilton also showed his hand, with Christodoulou the only man in the 1 minutes 39s so far. The push for pole was now on with a vengeance.
Next time round van der Zande went 2nd whereas Nakajima pulled into the pits and gave up the struggle. It was more than some were prepared to do. Chilton pushed on, knocking Christodoulou off the top spot, while a second effort from van der Zande saw him go faster but stay 3rd. Tandy was the next improver, though he would doubtless not consider 8th much of an improvement. It did put him ahead of Henry Arundel (Carlin Motorsport) but it wasn't enough really. There was one more improvement from Grubmuller to take him to 8th but then it all went quiet out there. The clock continued to tick down and the improvements just didn't come; at least until much closer to the end. Ricciardo went faster but remained 5th while Buzaid finally managed a flying lap for an initial 10th place. It seemed as if he might have left it a bit late, but there was still a little time left. With six minutes remaining, Ricciardo rocketed to 3rd, while Arundel managed 6th.
While the majority of runners headed back to the pits, Oakes improved to move up one place, but as that meant he was 12th not 11th it wasn't that great. Buzaid improved again on his next lap, to move up to 8th while Ricciardo claimed 2nd with 1.44 left on the session clock. He also had enough time for two more laps and was going hard for a pole time. It didn't quite happen. Even though he cleared the line with about three second left, the Australian would have to settle for 2nd. The last improvement came instead from Buzaid who ended up 5th.
And so Chilton will again start from pole, this time ahead of Ricciardo, Christodoulou, van der Zande, Buzaid, Nakajima, Arundel, Huertas, Grubmuller, and Tandy. Boyd was 11th, from Oakes, National Class poleman Dias, McKenzie, Lloyd, Garcia, Stephane Richelmi (Barazi Epsilon), Correa and Snegirev.
Weather: Fine, sunny.