British Formula 3 championship leader Daniel Ricciardo claimed only his second pole position of the season by topping the times in second qualifying at Donington Park this afternoon. The Carlin Motorsport driver lapped the National circuit in a 1m02.066s best to take the top spot by 0.111sec from T-Sport's Adriano Buzaid.
The Red Bull-backed Australian has struggled at times in qualifying this year and built his season on extracting strong race pace from his Dallara-Volkswagen, but he hustled his car around the new home of the British Grand Prix, at times on the ragged edge, to claim the pole in this session.
"It's really good," said Ricciardo. "Only my second pole, but hopefully I can get a few more in the second half of the year because starting on P1 is the place I want to be. The others have been giving me rocks from everywhere recently and it's been tough. T-Sport are getting their pace now so it's going to be a really competitive second half of the year."
Brazilian Buzaid was quick enough for row two in first qualifying, but failed to hook his sectors together and wound up sixth. In this session he was fastest of all in the crucial sector two and delivered T-Sport's best qualifying performance of the season by setting second fastest time.
Race one poleman Renger van der Zande looked less comfortable in session two as Hitech was dumped to row two. His Dallara-Mercedes fishtailed wildly at times through the Old Hairpin and he wound up third fastest, 0.122sec adrift of Ricciardo. The Dutchman's title-challenging team-mate Walter Grubmuller spun off at the Old Hairpin just after setting a time good enough for fourth, albeit over two tenths shy of his teammate's best.
Max Chilton (Carlin) again produced a late flourish to set fifth fastest time and line up alongside impressive Colombian rookie Carlos Huertas, who is feeling much more comfortable with the set up of his Raikkonen Robertson Racing Dallara-Mercedes this weekend. His Japanese teammate Daisuke Nakajima looked more assured in session two and set the seventh fastest time, just 0.013sec slower than Huertas and over two tenths clear of Henry Arundel (Carlin).
Wayne Boyd (T-Sport) again set ninth fastest time, while Jay Bridger (Litespeed) rounded out the top 10 by pipping Snetterton winner Riki Christodoulou (Fortec), who again struggled badly for speed.
Teammate Daniel McKenzie missed out on the National Class pole by just 0.066s to T-Sport's Gabriel Dias, the pair lining up 12th and 13th overall.TIMES:
Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1. Daniel Ricciardo Carlin D/V 1m02.066s
2. Adriano Buzaid T-Sport D/V 1m02.177s +0.111
3. Renger van der Zande Hitech D/M 1m02.188s +0.122
4. Walter Grubmuller Hitech D/M 1m02.430s +0.364
5. Max Chilton Carlin D/V 1m02.473s +0.407
6. Carlos Huertas Double R D/M 1m02.541s +0.475
7. Daisuke Nakajima Double R D/M 1m02.554s +0.488
8. Henry Arundel Carlin D/V 1m02.778s +0.712
9. Wayne Boyd T-Sport D/V 1m02.933s +0.867
10. Jay Bridger Litespeed M/M 1m02.969s +0.903
11. Riki Christodoulou Fortec D/M 1m03.044s +0.978
12. Gabriel Dias T-Sport D/H 1m03.105s +1.039
13. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/H 1m03.171s +1.105
14. Philip Major Carlin D/V 1m03.236s +1.170
15. Victor Garcia Fortec D/M 1m03.307s +1.241
16. Dominic Storey Double R D/M 1m03.442s +1.376
17. Hywel Lloyd CF D/H 1m03.683s +1.617
18. Victor Correa Litespeed S/H 1m04.613s +2.547
19. Maxim Snegirev West-Tec D/H 1m04.800s +2.734