Double Joy for Red Bull Drivers in Thruxton Qualifying Round 11 Qualifying Championship leader Jaime Alguersuari took his 4th pole position of the season in qualifying for Round 11 of the British F3 International Series at Thruxton, heading ...
Double Joy for Red Bull Drivers in Thruxton Qualifying
Round 11 Qualifying
Championship leader Jaime Alguersuari took his 4th pole position of the season in qualifying for Round 11 of the British F3 International Series at Thruxton, heading Carlin teammates Brendon Hartley and Oliver Turvey, the three drivers split by just thirty seven hundredths of a second. It was double joy for Carlin as Andy Meyrick took his 9th pole position in the National Class, qualifying 10th overall.
Teams and drivers had concerns about tyre wear on the UK's fastest road course circuit and many of the cars sat in the pits while other went out on Avon wets to get a look at the circuit before switching to slicks. The early pace was made by the slick shod National Class runners, with Jay Bridger posting a 1m08.517 lap just ahead of his Fluid Motorsport teammate Stefan Wilson.
Sergio Perez was the first of the top runners to make his move posting the fastest lap with 10 minutes of the session completed and the young Mexican improved his time on the next two laps, finishing up with a 1m07.192 as first Sebastian Hohenthal, then Oliver Turvey and then John Martin joined him on the provisional front row of the grid.
At the half way point of the qualifying session Oliver Turvey bounced to the top of the time sheets with a 1m97.023 but Jaime Alguersuari was on the move, posting the fastest sector times before crossing the line in 1m06.821, 0.006 seconds faster than the British F3 lap record held by Atte Mustonen.
Brendon Hartley also posted a demon lap with just 11 minutes remaining to move into second place making it an all Red Bull front row, the first since Oulton Park at Easter. Oliver Turvey improved but stayed in 3rd place just 0.037 behind the Spanish pole sitter.
The times settled down, with very few drivers improving and electing to return to the pits. The main exception was Marcus Ericsson, the Swede moving ahead of John Martin to take 4th in the final few minutes of qualifying.
Andy Meyrick was the fastest National Class runner in 10th place, five places further up the grid from second placed Jay Bridger and a further four places in front of third placed Stefan Wilson.
Round 12 Qualifying
Brendon Hartley improved on his front row position for Round 11 to take pole position for Round 12 of the 2008 British F3 International Series at Thruxton, the New Zealander finishing 0.035 seconds ahead of his Carlin teammate Oliver Turvey and Sweden's Marcus Ericsson. Jay Bridger secured his second National Class pole of the year after Andy Meyrick fell off the track early in the session, leaving the Welshman languishing back in 25th place.
With tyre wear still a worry to all the teams, many of the drivers elected to stay in the pitlane for the first part of the 30-minute qualifying session. Of this on track Atte Mustonen was the quickest driver with his Double R teammate John Martin in second. With five minutes of the session complete Jay Bridger put his National Class Dallara at the top of the time sheets with a lap of 1m07.493 but it wasn't long before he was bumped by a more powerful International Class car as John Martin staked his claim to the top slot.
National Class championship leader was circulating at the head of the National Class timesheet when disaster struck and the Dallara slide off the track and became beached in a dangerous position bringing out the red flags.
The stricken Dallara was quickly cleared by the marshals and the qualifying session resumed. More cars joined in and it was Sam Abay who made the early running with a lap of 1m07.215s, but the Australian soon lost out to Sergio Perez, who went a tenth faster. The times continued to tumble with Mustonen becoming the first driver in the sub 1minute 07 lap but it wasn't long before he was demoted by Nick Tandy and then Brendon Hartley in quick succession.
As the session entered its final stages it was Hartley from Turvey and Ericsson at the front of the field for the start of Round 12 of the 2008 British F3 International Series