Ericsson Takes Croft Pole Ahead of Perez
Marcus Ericsson (#8 Fortec) took his maiden British F3 pole position at his third attempt. The joint championship leader posted a time of 1m12.733, 0.134 seconds ahead of National Class Champion Sergio Perez (#9 T Sport) and 0.204 second ahead of teammate Sebastian Hohenthal (#7 Fortec). Andy Meyrick (#56 Carlin) kept his 100% record by taking his third National Class pole in three races ahead of Steven Guerrero (#53 T Sport).
A damp track caused a bit of head scratching in the pitlane prior to the 30-minute qualifying session for Round 3 of the 2008 British F3 International Series, with many of the teams electing to start the session on Avon wets. Once the session got underway it soon became clear that the correct choice was slicks and the drivers on wets came in to change their rubber.
In the first five minutes the grid was decidedly topsy turvy with National Class championship leader Andy Meyrick appearing at the top of the time sheets and many of the top 10 positions being filled by other National Class contenders. However Sergio Perez soon got things back to normal, posting a 1:14.583, which was soon bettered by Walter Grubmuller and Max Chilton. However Meyrick was still setting competitive times and with the session 10 minutes old the Carlin driver was on the front row of the provisional grid.
Sergio Perez was back at the top of the time sheet and improved again on the next lap to become the first driver to post a sub 1minute 13 second lap. Henry Arundel (#6 Raikkonen Robertson Racing) spun at the final corner, bringing out the waved yellows and bringing a temporary halt to the fast laps.
Once the stricken Dallara was removed the fast lappery continued and the times started to tumble. With 10 minutes of the session remaining it was Perez from Esteban Guerreri, Brendon Hartley, Marcus Ericsson and Oliver Turvey. Meyrick had dropped back to 10th but was still well ahead of his National Class rivals.
Sergio Perez came into the pits and climbed out of his T Sport Dallara to sit out the rest of the session. However with 7 minutes remaining Marcus Ericsson put in a 1m12.797s lap, 0.070 seconds ahead of the Mexican. Ericsson then improved the time again to finish the session 0.134s ahead to claim his maiden British F3 pole.
Marcus Ericsson: "It was very good but also very hard with the rain. There wasn't much grip and we were trailing a bit in the beginning but then I got a quick lap so I'm really pleased with everything. It is very close and this field with all of these good drivers it's going to be tough to be up there all the time. But we're on pole so it is really, really good."
ROUND 3 Qualifying
1 - 8 - INT - Marcus ERICSSON - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - 1m12.733s
2 - 9 - INT - Sergio PEREZ - Dallara F308 Mugen Honda - ×0.134s
3 - 7 - INT - Sebastian HOHENTHAL - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.204s
4 - 13 - INT - Michael DEVANEY - Mygale M-08F3 Mercedes HWA - ×0.232s
5 - 11 - INT - Esteban GUERRIERI - Mygale M-08F3 Mercedes HWA - ×0.246s
6 - 3 - INT - Brendon HARTLEY - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.282s
7 - 17 - INT - Oliver TURVEY - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.344s
8 - 12 - INT - Ricardo TEIXEIRA - Mygale M-08F3 Mercedes HWA - ×0.344s
9 - 18 - INT - Sam ABAY - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.409s
10 - 4 - INT - Jaime ALGUERSUARI - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.489s
11 - 26 - INT - Atte MUSTONEN - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.531s
12 - 28 - INT - Nick TANDY - Mygale M-08F3 Mercedes HWA - ×0.535s
13 - 25 - INT - Alistair JACKSON - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.656s
14 - 56 - NAT - Andy MEYRICK - Dallara F305 Mugen Honda - ×0.735s
15 - 24 - INT - John MARTIN - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.854s
16 - 1 - INT - Max CHILTON - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.896s
17 - 15 - INT - Oliver OAKES - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.986s
18 - 2 - INT - Walter GRUBMULLER - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×0.990s
19 - 53 - NAT - Steven GUERRERO - Dallara F307 Mugen Honda - ×1.376s
20 - 14 - INT - Philip MAJOR - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×1.517s
21 - 52 - NAT - Hywel LLOYD - Dallara F306 Mugen Honda - ×1.584s
22 - 50 - NAT - Jay BRIDGER - Dallara F307 Mugen Honda - ×1.876s
23 - 57 - NAT - Salman AL KHALIFA - Dallara F307 Mugen Honda - ×2.197s
24 - 5 - INT - Viktor JENSEN - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×2.290s
25 - 51 - NAT - Stefan WILSON - Dallara F306 Mugen Honda - ×2.298s
26 - 54 - NAT - Kristjan EINAR - Dallara F305 Mugen Honda - ×2.365s
27 - 55 - NAT - Craig REIFF - Dallara F306 Mugen Honda - ×2.571s
28 - 58 - NAT - Niall QUINN - Dallara F306 Mugen Honda - ×2.829s
29 - 6 - INT - Henry ARUNDEL - Dallara F308 Mercedes HWA - ×7.495s