Jon Lancaster claimed his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 pole position with a stunning performance in superpole at Le Mans today.
The result comes just three rounds into the Briton's Formula Renault 3.5 campaign and propels former champion team Comtec back to the sharp end of the grid after a fallow period in which they have endured a heavy turnover of drivers.
Lancaster will start this afternoon's reverse grid race in 12th position after incurring a four-place penalty for an incident involving Greg Mansell in the last round at Silverstone.
After an abortive entry into this year's F3 Euro Series, which severely disrupted his season, Lancaster was understandably delighted: "I have gone through a difficult period, as has the team, but I feel like I am back where I belong. I had two laps to warm up the fronts and then nailed it.
"I have heard that the stewards have me under investigation. The only thing that I think it could be is for running wide at Turn 1 on a lap on old tyres, but that lap was 1m33s so I don't think they'll be taking my time away."
James Walker produced a gritty performance to finish 0.02s behind Lancaster, only three days after undergoing surgery to his throat. British drivers filled the first three positions as Oliver Turvey was next up for Carlin Motorsport.
Frenchman Charles Pic, a winner at Le Mans in 2008, was fourth fastest ahead of Jaime Alguersuari, Bertrand Baguette and Pasquale Di Sabatino.
There was a welcome reprieve for Baguette, who having qualified outside the top six in his qualifying group, was promoted into the superpole following a penalty to GP2 racer Dani Clos for running outside the bounds of the circuit.
Baguette's Draco team-mate Marco Barba will start on pole position for this afternoon's reverse grid race.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Jon Lancaster Comtec 1m25.677s
2. James Walker P1 1m25.692s +0.015
3. Oliver Turvey Carlin 1m25.964s +0.287
4. Charles Pic Tech 1 1m26.007s +0.330
5. Jaime Alguersuari Carlin 1m26.035s +0.358
6. Bertrand Baguette Draco 1m26.058s +0.381
7. Pasquale di Sabatino RC 1m26.074s +0.397
8. Marco Barba Draco 1m26.275s +0.598
9. Marcos Martinez Pons 1m26.312s +0.635
10. Sten Pentus Fortec 1m26.375s +0.698
11. Miguel Molina Ultimate 1m26.503s +0.826
12. Edoardo Mortara Tech 1 1m26.842s +1.165