Jack Harvey turned on the pace this afternoon at Oulton Park to bag pole position for two of tomorrow’s three season-opening races in the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series. After lagging behind his Fortec rivals in free practice this morning, the 19-year-old from Lincolnshire set a blistering pace when it mattered in official qualifying, the only man in the field to break the 1m 28s barrier around the 2.7-mile Oulton International circuit.
Celebrating his maiden British F3 poles, Racing Steps Foundation-backed Harvey said: “Happy days! We changed quite a few things after testing; the Fortec cars looked really fast this morning and that required us to push forward quite a lot. We needed to make some decent-sized changes, which is not usual so close to qualifying.
“I’m confident with everything the team does; through all the hard work and all the testing, the team has been awesome. Coming into this weekend this is what we were aiming for.”
Harvey’s Carlin team-mate Carlos Sainz had set the pace early on in the session, until it was red-flagged when Fahmi Ilyas crashed his Double R machine at Old Hall. After the session restarted, Sainz was unable to regain his earlier form and wound up fourth.
Harry Tincknell was pleased with his best-yet F3 qualifying performance: “I can’t complain,” said Harry, who will start second to Harvey tomorrow morning for round one and third on the grid in round three. “I didn’t make the best of everything, but all the same I’m well placed on the grid and I’ll see what can be done from there.”
Fortec man Felix Serralles popped up to split the Carlin cars towards the end of the session and will start race three from second on the grid. The Puerto Rican F3 rookie’s second-fastest time was however good enough for only P8 on the first-race grid.
This morning’s free practice pacesetter, Alex Lynn, struggled to get within three-tenths of his am pace, and ended his day seventh quickest overall. Less than a second covered the top nine today.
Geoff Uhrhane, for whom the Double R team moved the earth to provide a new Mercedes-powered Dallara for the start of the season, stayed out of trouble on his F3 qualifying debut to post 12th best time, three seconds away from the pole.
In the National class, T-Sport’s Australian rookie Spike Goddard had the measure of his countryman and Double R rival Duvashen Padayachee throughout the session.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Provisional qualifying times / Oulton Park, Cheshire / 6 April 2012
Leading International class runners
1 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1:27.868
2 Felix SERRALLES / PUR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1:28.093
3 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1:28.094
4 Carlos SAINZ / ESP, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1:28.106
5 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1:28.108
6 Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1:28.268
7 Alex LYNN / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1:28.282
8 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1:28.380
9 Pipo DERANI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1:28.715
10 Fahmi ILYAS / MAS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes 1:29.316
11 Nick McBRIDE / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 1:29.719
12 Geoff UHRHANE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes 1:30.894
1 Spike GODDARD / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 1:30.934
2 Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda 1:31.938
Full TSL timesheets http://bit.ly/f3_opk
Saturday timetable Race 1 0955, Race 2 1345, Race 3 1700