Renger van der Zande claimed his third consecutive British F3 pole position by topping the times during a frantic first qualifying session at Donington Park this morning.
The Dutchman leapt to the top of the times late on with a 1m02.260s best, just 0.065s clear of Hitech Racing team-mate Walter Grubmuller, who made it an all-Hitech front row for the second consecutive race after setting second fastest time.
"It wasn't easy at all because it took a lot of time before the tyres came in and the track improved a lot, so the time had to be done in the last few laps," said the poleman.
"We've managed to have an almost perfect weekend so far and it looks dominant for Hitech as Walter is P2. He has improved a lot. When I came in at Silverstone [in May] he wasn't on the pace at all, but since then has improved a lot so it's good for us."
The Hitech pair demoted championship leader Daniel Ricciardo (Carlin) to third on the grid, just 0.013s adrift of Grubmuller. The Australian lines up alongside Colombian rookie Carlos Huertas (Double R), who enjoyed his strongest qualifying performance yet and set fourth fastest time, having held the top spot early on.
Many drivers went off track at the Old Hairpin in the latter part of the session, causing yellow flags and some disruption to others on flying laps. Dominic Storey (Double R) stranded his Dallara on the outside of the circuit, while Victor Garcia (Fortec) clouted the barriers.
Max Chilton (Carlin) was one of those to go off when "my tyres were at their best", which left him languishing in ninth until a late lap delivered him to row three. He lines up alongside Adriano Buzaid (T-Sport), who survived several wild moments at the Old Hairpin trying to improve on an early time that was still ultimately good enough for sixth.
Snetterton winner Riki Christodoulou (Fortec) rallied his repaired Dallara to seventh fastest time, just over two tenths clear of Gabriel Dias (T-Sport), who once again delivered a mega performance behind the wheel of his dated Dallara to claim the National Class pole in eighth overall.
Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1. Renger van der Zande Hitech D/M 1m02.260s
2. Walter Grubmuller Hitech D/M 1m02.325s +0.065
3. Daniel Ricciardo Carlin D/V 1m02.338s +0.078
4. Carlos Huertas Double R D/M 1m02.474s +0.214
5. Max Chilton Carlin D/V 1m02.594s +0.334
6. Adriano Buzaid T-Sport D/V 1m02.619s +0.359
7. Riki Christodoulou Fortec D/M 1m02.627s +0.367
8. Gabriel Dias T-Sport D/H 1m02.863s +0.603
9. Wayne Boyd T-Sport D/V 1m02.898s +0.638
10. Daisuke Nakajima Double R D/M 1m02.900s +0.640
11. Jay Bridger Litespeed M/M 1m02.990s +0.730
12. Henry Arundel Carlin D/V 1m03.011s +0.751
13. Philip Major Carlin D/V 1m03.180s +0.920
14. Victor Garcia Fortec D/M 1m03.301s +1.041
15. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/H 1m03.333s +1.073
16. Dominic Storey Double R D/M 1m03.399s +1.139
17. Hywel Lloyd CF D/H 1m03.421s +1.161
18. Maxim Snegirev West-Tec D/H 1m04.589s +2.329
19. Victor Correa Litespeed S/H 1m04.814s +2.554