RD12 QUALIFYING: Hartley Charges to Second Thruxton Pole for Red Bull
Post qualifying interviews with Brendon Hartley, Oliver Turvey, Jay Bridger and Steven Guerrero.
Brendon Hartley improved on his front row position for Round 11 to take pole position for Round 12 of the 2008 British F3 International Series at Thruxton, the New Zealander finishing 0.035 seconds ahead of his Carlin teammate Oliver Turvey and Sweden's Marcus Ericsson. Jay Bridger secured his second National Class pole of the year after Andy Meyrick fell off the track early in the session, leaving the Welshman languishing back in 25th place.
With tyre wear still a worry to all the teams, many of the drivers elected to stay in the pitlane for the first part of the 30-minute qualifying session. Of this on track Atte Mustonen was the quickest driver with his Double R teammate John Martin in second. With five minutes of the session complete Jay Bridger put his National Class Dallara at the top of the time sheetd witha lap of 1m07.493 but it wasn't long before he was bumped by a more powerful International Class car as John Martin staked his claim to the top slot.
National Class championship leader was circulating at the head of the National Class timesheet when disaster struck and the Dallara slide off the track and became beached in a dangerous position bringing out the red flags.
The stricken Dallara was quickly cleared by the marshals and the qualifying session resumed. More cars joined in and it was Sam Abay who made the early running with a lap of 1m07.215s, but the Australian soon lost out to Sergio Perez, who went a tenth faster. The time scontinued to tumble with Mustonen becoming the first driver in the sub 1minute 07 lap but it wasn't long before he was demoted by Nick Tandy and then Brendon Hartley in quick succession.
As the session entered its final stages it was Hartley from Turvey and Ericsson at the front of the field for the start of Round 12 of the 2008 British F3 International Series, which is due to get underway at 15:40 tomorrow.