Bahrain F3.5: Binder takes last pole of championship

Rene Binder has claimed the last-ever pole position in the Formula V8 3.5 championship as he dominated the second qualifying session in Bahrain.

The Lotus driver set his first competitive time halfway through the 30-minute session, having decided not to join the rest of the 10-car field in the opening third of qualifying.

On his first try, Binder set a time good enough for the top spot for what will be the championship’s final race on Saturday.

Binder was the only driver in the session to set a time in the 1m44s, his 1m44.730s putting him three tenths of a second clear of AVF’s newcomer Henrique Chaves.

The Formula Renault Eurocup regular was fastest for a time, his 1m45.061s seemingly good enough for pole until Binder’s late lap relegated him to his second.

Chaves was 0.1s ahead of championship leader Pietro Fittipaldi whose best effort was a  1m45.151s.

His nearest title rival Matevos Isaakyan will be starting on the third-row in sixth as set-up tweaks the SMP Racing driver made after this morning’s qualifying session didn’t pay off.

Between Fittipaldi and Isaakyan is the Fortec Motorsports pair of Diego Menchaca and Alfonso Celis Jr who will start fourth and fifth respectively having found more speed following a sub-par first session.

Konstantin Tereshchenko and Yu Kanamaru will share the fourth row, while Kanamaru’s RP Motorsport teammates Tatiana Calderon and Roy Nissany round out the field for Saturday’s race.

Joe Hudson

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Event Bahrain
Track Bahrain International Circuit
Drivers Rene Binder
Teams Charouz Racing System
Article type Qualifying report