Series leader Craig Dolby of the Tottenham Hotspur team will start from pole position in Sunday's opening race of the third round of Superleague Formula at Magny-Cours in France, the first time he has claimed the honor in qualifying.
In a result Spurs fans will dream about ahead of next year's Champions' League football fixtures, the London club defeated Italian giants AC Milan in the final.
Dolby drove a stellar final sector to defeat Yelmer Buurman, who was 0.183 sec ahead by the second sector and also ahead in the first. But in an amazing reversal, Dolby crossed the finish line 0.222sec ahead. Buurman's only obvious mistake was running wide at the exit of the final chicane.
Dolby saw off Olympiacos' Chris van der Drift in the first semi final, the Briton quickest in every sector of the lap on his way to recording a straightforward 1.22sec victory. Max Wissel (FC Basel) was not in the same league as Buurman in the second semi either, Buurman trouncing him by 1.872sec. Wissel pulled off on his slowing down lap, suggesting a technical issue was troubling him.
In the quarter finals, Dolby beat Sebastien Bourdais (Lyon) in a fantastic duel. Bourdais, who was fortunate to qualify for the knock-out rounds after his best group session time was erased due to it being set under yellow flags, was faster in the first two sectors, but Dolby was again immense over the closing corners, and reversed a deficit into a 0.078sec winning margin.
Wissel defeated Assen dominator Davide Rigon (Anderlecht) by 0.152s, while Buurman laid waste to John Martin (Beijing Guoan) by 1.082sec. This was eclipsed in the last quarter final, when Alvaro Parente (Porto) turned a 0.016sec advantage into a 0.855sec deficit after locking up at the Adelaide hairpin. He crossed the line 1.1sec in arrears.
Julien Jousse topped the Group A times, but was not permitted to progress to the knock-out stages as he set his fastest time under yellow flags. He was joined on the sidelines by Borja Garcia (Sporting Lisbon), Maria de Villota (Atletico Madrid) and Marcos Martinez, who shunted his Sevilla car heavily into the tyre wall at the high-speed Imola chicane.
In Group B, those to not progress to the knock-outs were Liverpool's James Walker, who lost valuable track time to an electrical fire in practice, plus local favorites Franck Perera (Flamengo) and Franck Montagny (Bordeaux), who were surprise drop-outs. Also out were Robert Doornbos (Corinthians) and Tristan Gommendy (Galatasary).