Jack Harvey will start the 2012 British Formula Three International Series from the front of the grid after securing both pole positions on offer from the qualifying session at Oulton Park.
The opening race of the weekend will line up according to drivers' second best times from the 45-minute sessions, the longer feature race – the climax of the F3 weekend – uses the best laps. The second race of the weekend sets up using the finishing order of race one with the top positions reversed.
Racing Steps Foundation backed driver Harvey was only third fastest in the morning practice session, but rose to the occasion in the first serious session of the new season, setting the best time but 0.225 seconds over Fortec driver Felix Serralles. The Puerto Rican was, maybe the surprise of the session, keeping the pace he had shown in the morning to lead the Fortec squad and break up the Carlin dominance at the front of the grid. He will, however, line up only eighth for the weekend's opening race.
Serralles and Fortec teammate Alex Lynn had topped the practice session, but Harvey and the rest of Carlin squad took four of the five best laps times and locked out the entire front two rows for the first race.
“Happy days!” said Harvey. “We changed quite a few things after testing; the Fortec cars looked really fast this morning and that required us to push forward quite a lot. We needed to make some decent-sized changes, which is not usual so close to qualifying.”
“I'm confident with everything the team does; through all the hard work and all the testing, the team has been awesome. Coming into this weekend this is what we were aiming for.”
Fellow Brit Harry Tincknell will line up second for the first race, and lead off row two for the final race with Carlos Sainz Jr. starting both races from fourth place. The Spaniard, who has shown superb pace during the pre-season tests at Snetterton, Rockingham, Silverstone and Oulton Park set the pace once more early on but fell away in the second part of qualifying, after the session had been halted when Fahmi Ilyas crashed at Old Hall.
“I can't complain,” said Tincknell. “I didn't make the best of everything, but all the same I'm well placed on the grid and I'll see what can be done from there.”
Jazeman Jaafar, who recorded the best time in last week's test at the Cheshire track will start the two races from third and fifth respectively, Alex Lynn, after leading the practice session could only muster the seventh fastest time and will start one place behind Hannes van Asseldonk in another of the Fortec Motorsport cars.
Australian Geoff Uhrhane, confirmed late alongside Ilyas at Double R, was off the pace in his F3 debut after running in Formula Ford in 2011, but logged a trouble free qualifying session his Dallara.
Spike Goddard will start his season in the second tier National Class from pole in both races, beating Duvashen Padayachee by more than a second.