Jelley Bounces Back in Qualifying Lottery
Stephen Jelley (#1 Raikkonen Robertson Racing) bounced back after the disappointment of yesterday to claim pole position for Round 6 of the 2007 Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series on a wet Bucharest track.
On a drying track the last five minutes proved to be frantic as times tumbled, with Atte Mustonen (#26 Raikkonen Robertson Racing), Sam Bird (#3 Carlin Motorsport), Sebastian Hohenthal (#5 Fortec Motorsport), Alberto Valerio (#22 Carlin Motorsport) and Maro Engel (#23 Carlin Motorsport) all staking a claim to the top spot but it was Jelley who was fastest when the checkered flag was displayed to end the 30 minute session.
Jelley finished 1.2 seconds ahead of Alberto Valerio, with Atte Mustonen just five hundredths of a second behind the Brazilian, who was running with a new rear wing after clouting the wall hard five minutes into qualifying. Engel was 4th, with Bird and Hohenthal rounding out the top six.
Championship leader Marko Asmer (#7 Hitech Racing) set the early pace but lost out in the final five minutes and could only manage 10th place alongside the Ultimate Motorsport Mygale of Esteban Guerrieri.
Stephen Jelley: “Definitely a lot better than yesterday and I couldn’t ask for any more. It was very frantic out there. I’ll tell you what, it is the ultimate adrenalin rush round this place in the wet, especially on the really quick sections; there are white lines and zebra crossings and you are trying to get it absolutely flat out and the car is just drifting towards the concrete wall. It’s mega if you get it right.”
Sergio Perez (#31 T Sport) was the quickest of the National Class runners, finishing 9th overall and nine places ahead of nearest rivals Hamad Al Fardan (#38 Performance Racing) and Alistair Jackson (#35 Raikkonen Robertson Racing). Perez was as high as second overall early on in the session when a clash at one of the chicanes with Al Fardan caused the red flags to come out. Both cars were recovered to the pits and quickly repaired. Both cars rejoined to give both drivers their highest qualifying positions of the season so far.
Sergio Perez: “It was a very low key qualifying for me because since the beginning near the top and then I had contact with Hamad Al Fardan and I had to stop in the pits. I lost a lot of time in the session. After that I came back and I did the pole in the last lap, so it was really great and puts ten championship cars behind me.”
Mario Moraes (#4 Carlin Motorsport) and Alex Waters (#34 Promatecme) were both victims of the slippery conditions in the early part of the session, sliding on the wet track and colliding with the unforgiving walls here at Bucharest.
Round 6 of the 2007 Lloyds TSB Insurance British F3 International Series will take place at 10:45 local time (08:45 BST) tomorrow (Sunday 20th May). The 30 car grid will line up at 11:55 local time today for Round 5.
Walter Grubmuller (#6 Hitech Racing), who had a big impact in qualifying yesterday, was released from hospital last night without serious injury but wont take part in either of the races this weekend.
Qualifying Round 6 - Provisional Results
1 1 C Stephen JELLEY GBR 1:21.172 137.97kph
2 22 C Alberto VALERIO BRA +1.210s
3 26 C Atte MUSTONEN FIN +1.260s
4 23 C Maro ENGEL GER +1.310s
5 3 C Sam BIRD GBR +1.393s
6 5 C Sebastian HOHENTHAL SWE +1.539s
7 21 C Niall BREEN IRL +1.610s
8 31 N Sergio PEREZ MEX +2.085s
9 14 C Esteban GUERRIERI ARG +2.223s
10 7 C Marko ASMER EST +2.234s
11 15 C Michael DEVANEY IRL +2.411s
12 9 C Rodolfo GONZALEZ VEN +2.800s
13 61 I Max CHILTON GBR +3.051s
14 24 C John MARTIN AUS +3.113s
15 50 C Greg MANSELL GBR +3.212s
16 2 C Jonathan KENNARD GBR +3.294s
17 38 N Hamad AL FARDAN BHR +3.299s
18 35 N Alistair JACKSON GBR +3.577s
19 36 N Albert COSTA ESP +3.758s
20 55 N Michael MEADOWS GBR +3.806s
21 39 N CHENG Cong Fu CHN +4.182s
22 77 N Salman AL KHALIFA BHR +4.853s
23 12 C Sean PETTERSON RSA +5.120s
24 8 C F'cesco CASTELLACCI ITA +5.377s
25 44 C Leo MANSELL GBR +5.964s
26 10 C Ricardo TEIXEIRA ANG +6.400s
27 33 N Juan Pablo GARCIA S. MEX +6.710s
28 37 N Viktor JENSEN ISL +10.473s
29 34 N Alex WATERS GBR +21.748s (Accident)
30 4 C Mario MORAES BRA No Time Set (Accident)