Fortec Motorsport’s Felix Serralles bagged a brace of pole positions at Spa-Francorchamps this afternoon, the Puerto Rican racer showing a clean pair of wheels not only to his regular Cooper Tires British Formula 3 rivals but also to the FIA European F3 Championship contenders who have joined the fun in Belgium this weekend.
Serralles set his best time – 2m 15.157s – early in the 30-minute session, just pipping Carlin man Carlos Sainz Jnr, who was 0.041s slower around the Belgian Grand Prix circuit. Yellow flags later in the session prevented Felix from bettering that and, more importantly, denied his rivals the chance also.
Serralles’ second-best time was 2m 15.212s, good enough to earn him a second Spa pole. He was delighted to add to the pole he claimed back in April at Monza: “It’s been a long time since Monza, now finally a double pole. I love this track, it’s all about having big balls and carrying a lot of speed and that’s what I like to do with the F3 car. I’m pleased I was able to put it all together.”
The yellow caution flags flew at Spa after a collision between the cars of Jack Harvey (Carlin) and Hannes van Asseldonk (Fortec) at Les Combes; the incident is being investigated by race stewards. It was a bad end to the day for Harvey, who missed most of the first free practice with a misfire; he ended qualifying P7.
Prema Powerteam’s F3 Euroseries points leader Daniel Juncadella was third quickest in qualifying; the only other Euro interloper in the top 10 was young Brit Tom Blomqvist, sixth fastest for ma-con Motorsport.
In the National class, Adderly Fong recovered from a free practice off to lead the way for CF Racing, a tenth ahead of T-Sport’s category leader Spike Goddard. Championship newcomer Pedro Pablo Calbimonte was fourth in class for T-Sport on his Spa debut.
There are two races tomorrow, Friday, a 30-minute challenge at 1155 local time and the 20-minute partially-reversed grid 20-minute sprint race at 1505. The 40-minute finale is set for Saturday morning ahead of the Spa 24 Hours sports car event.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Provisional qualifying times / Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) / 26 July 2012
Leading International & *FIA Euro class runners
1 Felix SERRALLES / PUR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 2:15.157
2 Carlos SAINZ / ESP, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2:15.198
3 *Daniel JUNCADELLA / ESP, Prema Dallara-Mercedes 2:15.460
4 Alex LYNN / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 2:15.527
5 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2:15.678
6 *Tom BLOMQVIST / GBR, ma-con Dallara-Volkswagen 2:15.697
7 Jack HARVEY / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2:15.767
8 Pipo DERANI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 2:15.815
9 Hannes VAN ASSELDONK / NED, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 2:15.834
10 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2:15.914
12 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2:15.972
14 Nick McBRIDE / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 2:16.189
19 Fahmi ILYAS / MAS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes 2:16.681
20 Geoff UHRHANE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes 2:16.777 etc
1 Adderly FONG / CHI, CF Racing Dallara-Mugen Honda 2:17.826
2 Spike GODDARD / AUS, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 2:17.962
3 Duvashen PADAYACHEE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mugen Honda 2:18.804
4 Pedro Pablo CALBIMONTE / BOL, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 2:19.325
First-race grid Serralles – Sainz – Lynn – Juncadella – van Asseldonk – Jaafar – Fantin – Lewis – Tincknell – Harvey