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

Championship class

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

Rookie class

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)