Fortec Motorsport’s William Buller grabbed a surprise double-pole on Saturday afternoon ahead of the opening round of the 2011 British Formula 3 Championship at Monza.
The Irishman attacked the Monza circuit under the Italian sunshine, initially setting an impressive time of 1:45.491 – enough for pole – before finding another 2/100ths of a second later in the session, guaranteeing himself pole position for Rounds 1 and 3.
“It's a great way to start the season,” Buller said. “It just shows that it's the first qualifying session that matters and not all the pre-season testing times. The whole team has put in a massive amount of hard work to get us here, and I'd like to thank each and every member for their dedication. Qualifying is all about managing your tyres and I nailed it today.”
Kevin Magnussen came closest to Buller’s laptime with a highly competitive 1:45.544, but the Carlin driver couldn’t find the extra tenth and had to settle for 2nd on the grid for Round 1. Lucas Foresti, the second Fortec driver in the top 3 was almost half a second behind, but heads a pack of tightly grouped drivers. Jazeman Jaafar lays 4th ahead of Carlin team-mate Carlos Huertas, with Riki Christodolou lining up in 6th place. Carlin’s Felipe Nasr failed to deliver on his pre-season promise, and could only manage 8th place for Round 1.
The Rookie Class saw T-Sport’s Bart Hylkema take the top spot ahead of his only rival, Kotaro Sakurai who endured a difficult session.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Official qualifying, Monza ITA / 16/4/2011
1 William BULLER /GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1m 45.491s
2 Kevin MAGNUSSEN / DEN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 45.544s
3 Lucas FORESTI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1m 45.934s
4 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 45.975s
5 Carlos HUERTAS / COL, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 46.000s
6 Riki CHRISTODOULOU / GBR, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 46.130s
7 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1m 46.145s
8 Felipe NASR / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 46.162s
9 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 46.174s
10 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 46.456s etc
1 Bart HYLKEMA / NED, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 1m 47.739s
2 Kotaro SAKURAI / JPN, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda 1m 49.186s
Full Timings can be found here: http://www.imagevaults.co.uk/monzaf3/02_qualifying.pdf
Round 1 begins on Saturday afternoon at 4:40pm local time (BST +1)