Sergey Afanasiev secures maiden F2 pole
Sergey Afanasiev clinched his maiden Formula Two pole with a superb late effort in first qualifying at Oschersleben.
|(L to R) Nicola De Marco, Sergey Afanasiev and Kazim Vasiliauskas celebrate in parc ferme|
The Russian, who has started on the front row at Monza and Brands Hatch already this season, secured his first pole in the final two minutes of the session - edging out Lithuania's Kazim Vasiliauskas by just over eight hundredths of a second.
Vasiliauskas had previously looked comfortable in the top spot, but was unable to respond to Afanasiev and will start alongside the Russian in second - matching his best qualifying performance of the year at Zolder.
Nicola De Marco meanwhile continued his superb recent run of results by securing third place for tomorrow's race, the Italian also producing his best lap time in the dying minutes to seal third.
That edged out Belgium's Benjamin Bailly, who will share the second row with De Marco after lapping just 0.026s slower than the 20-year-old Italian.
Title protagonist Dean Stoneman will start from fifth after being demoted one place by Afanasiev's last-gasp effort, although the Briton will be buoyed to have finished ahead of current points leader Jolyon Palmer, who managed eighth.
The two rivals were split by British duo Will Bratt and Jack Clarke, both of whom finished within one tenth of Stoneman's time. Clarke in particular was impressive on old rubber and topped the opening ten minutes of the session, but was pipped to sixth as Will Bratt finished just over three hundredths of a second faster.
An incredibly close qualifying session saw Philipp Eng seal ninth despite lapping within six tenths of Afanasiev's best, with Mihai Marinescu a further eight hundredths of a second further back in tenth.
Armaan Ebrahim, Kelvin Snoeks and Ivan Samarin all lapped with one second of the pole time in 11th through to 13th, while Julian Theobald pipped younger brother Johannes to 16th, having briefly held top spot after going out first on new rubber.