Zolder: Qualifying report

Toccacelo and Power on pole More than 20,000 spectators converged on the Zolder circuit today to watch qualifying for the World Series by Renault. After witnessing a crowd-pleasing demonstration of Franck Montagny's Renault F1 car, spectators...

Toccacelo and Power on pole

More than 20,000 spectators converged on the Zolder circuit today to watch qualifying for the World Series by Renault. After witnessing a crowd-pleasing demonstration of Franck Montagny's Renault F1 car, spectators saw pole positions taken by Enrico Toccaccelo (Victory Engineering) and Will Power (Carlin Motorsport).

Session 1

After 8 minutes, it was Power who held provisional pole ahead of Winkelhock (Draco Multiracing USA) and Toccacelo. These three were the only drivers to have gone faster than 1'19'' at this stage. The other drivers were finding it difficult to improve on this. Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi) nevertheless managed to grab the 3rd best time, while Ryo Fukuda (DHG Saulnier Racing) and Tristan Gommendy (KTR) settled into 5th and 6th.

Meanwhile, there were a series of spins at the tricky 'Gilles Villeneuve' chicane, which caught out Patrick Pilet (Jenzer Motorsport) and Milos Pavlovic (GD Racing). Only eight seconds from the end, it was Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport) who took pole (1'18''315). Winkelhock also improved on his time and moved up to 2nd position, but his lap was not to count because the yellow flag had been out at the time. In the end, it was Toccacelo who had the final word with a lap in 1'18''066!

Then, with Colin Fleming (Jenzer Motorsport) at a standstill on the edge of the track, the red flag was shown and the session was brought to a halt. As Alx Danielsson (Dams) pulled over to let another car through, he was unable to avoid American driver on the exit to the bend, resulting in a collision. Just a few seconds later, Stefano Proetto (Interwetten.com) himself ran into the two other cars. The medical team came to Alx Danielsson's assistance and he was taken to hospital with a broken ankle.

Both Interwetten.com cars (Daniel La Rosa and Stefano Proetto), as well as Colin Fleming's car are now ruled out of both races.

Session 2

The qualifying format was then modified by the Race Director, separating the cars into two series with 12 minutes of track time each. In the odd-number series, Toccacelo once again reigned supreme with a lap in 1'18''501. The Italian driver qualified ahead of Adrian Valles (Pons Racing) and the Frenchman Tristan Gommendy.

Will Power put in the best time (1'18''313) of the even-number series ahead of Jaap Van Lagen (KTR) and Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi). As this was the fastest session, all these drivers will start on the pole position side of the grid.

Enrico Toccacelo: "The car is a real pleasure to drive with the steering-wheel mounted gear shift. This morning, with 29 cars out on the track, it was difficult to get a clear lap in. In the afternoon, the traffic was no longer a problem. But then the trouble was how to set a good qualifying time in just 12 minutes. But in my view we put in some good work here today."

Will Power: "It wasn't easy to set a good time in just four or five laps. But it's been a good start to the weekend."

Andreas Zuber: "Formula Renault 3.5 is a major step up when you're coming from Formula 3. But the competition is just as tough in both disciplines. Let's see what happens in the race!"

Jaap Van Lagen: "I'm happy to carry my momentum from the end of my 2004 season into 2005. I'm also pleased with this result for the KTR team, who are racing on home ground here."

-renault-

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Franck Montagny , Ryo Fukuda , Colin Fleming , Tristan Gommendy , Robert Kubica , Will Power , Adrian Valles , Andreas Zuber , Patrick Pilet , Milos Pavlovic
Teams Carlin , Jenzer Motorsport