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Donington 12/10/2008 - 06 Days, 05 Hrs, 29 Mins
RD 9: Engel Continues Practice Pace to Secure Pole


Maro Engel (#23 Carlin Motorsport) continued from the good start to the weekend in this morning's Free Practice session to secure his second Pole Position of the season.  The German finished the 30-miniute qualifying period 0.052 seconds ahead of Stephen Jelley (#1 Raikkonen Robertson Racing) and a further 0.072 seconds ahead Atte Mustonen (#26 Raikkonen Robertson Racing).

The National Class pole was secured by Sergio Perez (#31 T Sport). 0.251 seconds ahead of his championship rival 'Frankie' Cheng (#39 Performance Racing), with Hamad Al Fardan (#38 Performance Racing) in third.

The early pace was set by Sam Bird (#3 Carlin Motorsport) who was the first driver of the weekend to post a sub 1minute 47 second lap with a 1m46.546 on lap 4 and then went even faster a lap later, posting a 1m46.392.  After 10 minutes Bird was in provisional pole position from Engel and Mustonen.

After seven laps Bird returned to the pits, thinking he'd done enough but a lap later Jelley put in a 1m46.293 lap, 0.099 seconds faster than the Carlin driver.  Atte Mustonen then followed his Double R teammate and demoted Bird to 3rd with a 46.365.  However at the same time Maro Engel had set the fastest time of the session for sector 2 and as he exited the Parabolica he was right behind the Hitech Dallara of Walter Grubmuller.  The German used the Austrian's tow and crossed the line in 1m46.241, which wasn't beaten for the rest of the session.

Championship leader Marko Asmer (#7 Hitech Racing) improved his best time towards the end of the session and will start Round 9 in 5th place, just ahead of Sebastian Hohenthal (#5 Fortec Motorsport).  Greg Mansell will head the 4th row, just ahead of Jonathan Kennard.  Carlin teammates Niall Breen and Alberto Valerio rounded out the top 10.

Francesco Castellaci (#8 ADR) suffered his second engine failure of the weekend on his first lap of the qualifying session and failed to set a time.  The ADR mechanics are now working hard to get the car ready for the second qualifying session at 17:30 (local time) 

The top 18 set times inside the British F3 lap record set by 2005 Champion Alvaro Parente (1m48.149) but this record will stand until some beats it in one of the two races tomorrow.

Maro Engel (Pole Position): "That was awesome, it's been a while since the first one (Pole Position) so it's good to get this one here (at Monza). I think the GT cars have laid down a lot rubber and the track really gripped up, which has allowed us to go faster than this morning and the speed just came."

Stephen Jelley (2nd on grid): "It's good.  I didn't have any form of tow, I was on my own, and it means we're in the race. It's looking good for tomorrow, it's easy to overtake here so it's going to be a mega race."

Sergio Perez (National Class Pole Position): "We've had a good start to the weekend and we are on pole and we must start thinking about second qualifying to get pole there as well. We have good pace, we are 12th overall, so we must keep pushing to get the second pole. Monza is a really great circuit, I've played it already on the Playstation and it's just amazing and Monza is now one of my favourite circuits."


1  23  C  Maro ENGEL  GER  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:46.241  10laps 

2  1  C  Stephen JELLEY  GBR  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:46.293  10  +0.052  

3  26  C  Atte MUSTONEN  FIN  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:46.365  12  +0.124 

4  3  C  Sam BIRD  GBR  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:46.392  8 + 0.151 

5  7  C  Marko ASMER  EST  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:46.574  15  +0.333 

6  5  C  Sebastian HOHENTHAL  SWE  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:46.672  16  +0.431 

7  50  C  Greg MANSELL  GBR  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:46.742  17  +0.501 

8  2  C  Jonathan KENNARD  GBR  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:47.018  14  +0.777 

9  21  C  Niall BREEN  IRL  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:47.106  14  +0.865 

10  22  C  Alberto VALERIO  BRA  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:47.145  14  +0.904 

11  14  C  Esteban GUERRIERI  ARG  Mygale Mercedes HWA  1:47.329  12  +1.088 

12  31  N  Sergio PEREZ  MEX  Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda  1:47.488  13  +1.247 

13  24  C  John MARTIN  AUS  Dallara F307 Mugen-Honda  1:47.546  16  +1.305 

14  6  C  Walter GRUBMULLER  AUT  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:47.563  14  +1.322 

15  9  C  Rodolfo GONZALEZ  VEN  Dallara F307 Mugen-Honda  1:47.684  16  +1.443 

16  4  C  Mario MORAES  BRA  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:47.688  14  +1.447 

17  39  N  CHENG Cong Fu  CHN  Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda  1:47.739  14  +1.498 

18  15  C  Michael DEVANEY  IRL  Mygale Mercedes HWA  1:47.771  15  +1.530 

19  16  C  Max CHILTON  GBR  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:48.187  15  +1.946 

20  62  I  Matteo CHINOSI  ITA  Dallara F305 Mugen-Honda  1:48.316  15  +2.075 

21  44  C  Leo MANSELL  GBR  Dallara F307 Mercedes HWA  1:48.463  16  +2.222 

22  10  C  Ricardo TEIXEIRA  ANG  Dallara F307 Mugen-Honda  1:48.747  15  +2.506 

23  69  I  Dominick MUERMANS  NED  Dallara F306 Opel-Spiess  1:49.004  16  +2.763 

24  38  N  Hamad AL FARDAN  BHR  Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda  1:49.026  14  +2.785 

25  55  N  Michael MEADOWS  GBR  Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda  1:49.039  16  +2.798 

26  33  N  Juan Pablo GARCIA S.  MEX  Lola-Dome F106/4 Mugen-Honda  1:49.060 16 +2.819 

27  63  I  Federico GLORIOSO  ITA  Dallara F306 Mugen-Honda  1:49.199  16  +2.958 

28  34  N  Alex WATERS  GBR  Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda  1:49.400  11  +3.159 

29  35  N  Alistair JACKSON  GBR  Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda  1:49.674  16  +3.433 

30  12  C  Sean PETTERSON  RSA  Lola B06-30 Mugen-Honda  1:49.973  14  +3.732 

31  37  N  Viktor JENSEN  ISL  Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda  1:50.003  15  +3.762 

32  36  N  Albert COSTA  ESP  Dallara F304 Mugen-Honda  1:50.220  13  +3.979 


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