Magnussen storms to pole in Paul Ricard

Carlin’s Kevin Magnussen stormed to two pole positions in qualifying at Paul Ricard today, ahead of rounds 16, 17 and 18 of the 2011 Cooper Tires British F3 International Series. Brazilian team mate Felipe Nasr will join Magnussen on the front row for both race one and race three. All Carlin cars qualified in the top nine, completing a strong morning for the championship winning team.

Following yesterday’s practice sessions it was Nasr and Magnussen who were the pace setters in the morning and afternoon practice sessions respectively. It was Nasr that stole the early lead in this morning’s qualifying session taking provisional pole early on, with team mates close Jack Harvey, Carlos Huertas and Rupert Svendsen-Cook close behind.

It was Nasr who pitted first for his second set of new tires; the Brazilian was already back out on track on new rubber with 17 minutes of the session remaining as temperatures on track continued to climb. The championship leader continued to push hard and post the quickest times, and was still quickest ahead of Hitech’s Antonio Felix da Costa and Carlin drivers Magnussen and Svendsen-Cook with ten minutes remaining.

As the session entered the final stages, Magnussen made the most of his second set of tires and went quickest, only to post another lap good enough for pole next time round. Huertas also made a last minute improvement and climbed to fourth, with Harvey an impressive fifth. Svendsen-Cook was sixth at the checkered flag while Jaafar was ninth.

Magnussen who also claimed double poles last time out at Nurbürgring, said, “I feel really good to have got two more poles today. On my first set of tires I was in traffic, but I knew I had a good car so I just stayed calm and did what I could. We came in for the second set of tires and I had some space when I came back out on track and I managed to get two laps good enough for pole. It wasn’t an easy session, I had to push really hard but the car felt good and I’m very happy so far. Now we just need to focus on the races."

Race one of the weekend will take place at 15.00 local time. With the grid made up from the drivers’ second quickest laps in qualifying, Magnussen will line up on pole, with Nasr second, Huertas fourth, Harvey fifth, Svendsen-Cook sixth, and Jaafar ninth.

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