Marcos Martinez extended his Formula Renault 3.5 championship lead with a virtuoso performance in Superpole qualifying at the Hungaroring.
The Spaniard recorded the fastest ever FR 3.5 lap of the circuit, his time of 1m31.285s over four tenths of a second faster than his compatriot Miguel Molina. Martinez had already demonstrated his superiority in the earlier A qualifying group, where James Walker was his closest challenger.
Walker will line up in third place for tomorrow's feature race, sharing the second row with Tech 1 racer Charles Pic who will be aiming to open up his 2009 victory account.
Bertrand Baguette's previous four point deficit to Martinez in the standings has now been doubled as a consequence of his rival's pole position. The Belgian completed the 15 minute session in fifth place, 0.047s ahead of Pic's Tech 1 team-mate Brendon Hartley.
Eighth place in Superpole earns Fairuz Fauzy pole position for this afternoon's partially reversed grid race ahead of Marco Barba. Fauzy has been a contender throughout the weekend, but his Fortec team noted its good fortune in the result as it has the Malaysian ambassador in attendance today and not for Sunday's feature race...
In a tightly contested session, both Carlin drivers missed out on a crucial top eight position. Monaco winner Oliver Turvey was 10th, one place behind Jaime Alguersuari.
The reigning British Formula 3 champion had earlier finished second in his qualifying group, 0.023s behind Hartley. However, the Spaniard was unable to reproduce his earlier form and lost out on today's pole slot to Fauzy by a scant 0.04s.
Series debutant Jon Lancaster did an excellent job to progress into Superpole, and qualify in 12th position, having been out of racing action for several months. Of the other newcomers, Edoardo Mortara will start today from the tenth row, directly ahead of fellow GP2 racer, and series returnee, Michael Herck.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Marcos Martinez Pons 1m31.285s
2. Miguel Molina Ultimate 1m31.655s
3. James Walker P1 1m31.700s
4. Charles Pic Tech 1 1m32.002s
5. Bertrand Baguette Draco 1m32.102s
6. Brendon Hartley Tech 1 1m32.149s
7. Marco Barba Draco 1m32.203s
8. Fairuz Fauzy Fortec 1m32.245s
9. Jaime Alguersuari Carlin 1m32.285s
10. Oliver Turvey Carlin 1m32.421s
11. Adrian Zaugg Interwetten 1m32.607s
12. Jon Lancaster Comtec 1m32.750s
13. Greg Mansell Ultimate 1m32.950s
14. Adrian Valles Epsilon Euskadi 1m33.208s
15. Daniil Move P1 1m33.277s
16. John Martin Comtec 1m33.322s
17. Pasquale di Sabatino RC 1m33.340s
18. Sten Pentus Fortec 1m33.455s
19. Filip Salaquarda Prema 1m33.760s
20. Edoardo Mortara SG 1m33.689s
21. Federico Leo Pons 1m34.070s
22. Michael Herck Interwetten 1m33.890s
23. Chris van der Drift Epsilon Euskadi 1m34.312s
24. Anton Nebylitskiy SG 1m34.087s
25. Mihai Marinescu RC
26. Julian Leal Prema 1m35.107s