Rookie on the streets of Monaco Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport) chose the ideal setting to take his first pole position in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The young British driver turned heads among the assembled microcosm that is the Formula ...
Rookie on the streets of Monaco
Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport) chose the ideal setting to take his first pole position in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The young British driver turned heads among the assembled microcosm that is the Formula 1 world, finishing qualifying as pole-sitter for Sunday's race. He'll be joined on the first row by countryman James Walker (P1 Motorsport).
The Group A drivers got this morning's qualifying underway, with Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing) setting the pace early on, ahead of James Walker and Adrian Valles (Epsilon Euskadi). Timing screens showed constantly changing positions in the first few laps. Marcos Martinez and James Walker took turns on provisional pole. With a 1'28''299 lap the British driver was the first to clock what was to be a series of fast laps. Next it was James Walker who upped the stakes, lapping in 1'27''906 then 1'27''495.
Pasquale DiSabatino (RC Motorsport) grabbed second spot with just five minutes of the session remaining, but Marcos Martinez immediately won his place back, before Adrian Valles and Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) got into trouble at Rascasse and -at the same moment- John Martin (Comtec Racing) came a cropper in the swimming pool complex. The red flag had to be shown. So James Walker finished at the top of this group ahead of Marcos Martinez, Pasquale DiSabatino, Adrian Valles and Jaime Alguersuari (Carlin Motorsport).
The group B drivers kicked off their half of the session knowing exactly what they had to do. Beat 1'27''495 to be on pole! From the off, Miguel Molina (Ultimate Motorsport) set the tempo. Fairuz Fauzy (Mofaz Fortec Motorsport), Adrian Zaugg (Interwetten.com Racing), Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing), Oliver Turvey and Stefano Coletti (Prema Powerteam) were all in contention.
Adrian Zaugg was first to go below the 1'28 mark. Clocking 1'27''792, the South African driver led from Fairuz Fauzy and Miguel Molina, before Molina improved the time again to grab provisional pole in 1'27''479.
The end of the session was enthralling. Adrian Zaugg clocked 1'27''419 to knock Miguel Molina off pole. More determined than ever, the Catalan went all out to come back and ended up making a braking error into the tight Mirabeau corner, but he avoided hitting the barriers. Meanwhile Adrian Zaugg was lapping even quicker. With a 1'27''298 then a 1'26''943 lap, the South African was looking comfortable. Then Oliver Turvey moved up to second place ahead of Miguel Molina. And in his final lap, the British driver took pole position. Despite a last attempt by Adrian Zaugg, Oliver Turvey held his first pole position in Formula Renault 3.5 Series.
At the end of the session, John Martin's best lap time was cancelled for initiating the red flag incident. Best times for Miguel Molina and Mihai Marinescu were also cancelled after their cars were pushed by race marshals.
Oliver Turvey: "We knew the track conditions would improve as the session went on. So the aim was to give it everything in the last lap. And it went to plan. In collective testing on Thursday, I felt vey much at ease on the circuit, even though it's my first time in Monaco. I'll go for my first win here - it's the best place to get a victory. But I'll have to look out for James Walker at the start. He's a really experienced driver."
James Walker: "Everything went very well. I warmed my tires up gradually, so the car would be in good shape at the end of the session. The track was better for the second group, so we had to be quick to get on the front row. Of course, we need points on the board for the championship, but after all the best way to get points is to win!"