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Formula Renault 3.5

Albert Costa Claims Maiden Pole

2 Mins read
Albert Costa (Photo Credit: Renault Sport)

Albert Costa (Photo Credit: Renault Sport)

Epic Racing‘s Albert Costa took his first pole position in front of his home crowd in Barcelona in the final Formula Renault 3.5 race of the season.

The 2009 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion, who has suffered budget problems for the past three seasons, took his maiden pole with a time of 1:32.343s to head Carlin‘s Robert Wickens by 0.256s to reverse yesterday’s front row order.

For Costa, who is still targeting third in the championship, victory is the only thing he has in mind.

He said: “I haven't got a budget for next season so today may be my last race. I'm going to give my all; I've got nothing to lose; I need a good result.”

Unlike Yesterday, the qualifying session passed without interruption and that suited the Carlin team, with both drivers gunning for the title.

Wickens, who just needs to finish second to claim the Formula Renault 3.5 title, joins Costa on the front row and will be hoping for s trouble-free afternoon in Catalunya.

The Canadian said: “It was a good session overall, but I think I might have under drove the car a little bit. I was quite surprised by the level of grip in the higher downforce set-up and I don't think I made the most of it. I think we still have a good car though and I feel confident for the race.”

Wickens’ title rival and team mate JeanEric Vergne was left frustrated with fifth on the grid.

The Frenchman, who superbly finished second yesterday, had been running last with just a few minutes remaining despite setting the early pace.

Moreover, having propelled himself up to fifth, Vergne produced purple first and second sector times on his final run before being held up by Jan Charouz with a few corners to go.

Vergne said: “I still wasn't completely comfortable with the car this morning, but there was definitely the potential to be higher up than fifth. On my last lap I went purple in the first two sectors but then I hit traffic in the final sector and wasn't able to complete the lap. I'm going out to win the race this afternoon. This is my only goal.”

It was Anton Nebylitskiy who took a surprise third for KMP, with Nick Yelloly again showing his speed in Catalunya with the fourth best time.

There was yet more disappointment for Yelloly’s fellow countryman and teammate Oliver Webb, though.

He ran strongly throughout the session and, much like Paul Ricard, was running second with only a couple of minutes to go but dropped down the order to 17th as he suffered a technical problem.

Speaking on his Twitter account, he said: “Can’t believe my luck (at) the end of this season. P1 with three minutes to go and the electronics fail in my car and I had to pit, can’t believe it.”

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
 1.  Albert Costa       Epic             1m32.343s
 2.  Robert Wickens     Carlin           1m32.599s  + 0.256s
 3.  Anton Nebylitskiy  KMP              1m32.899s  + 0.556s
 4.  Nick Yelloly       Pons             1m32.951s  + 0.608s
 5.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Carlin           1m33.096s  + 0.753s
 6.  Daniel Zampieri    BVM Target       1m33.212s  + 0.869s
 7.  Alexander Rossi    Fortec           1m33.243s  + 0.900s
 8.  Nathanael Berthon  ISR              1m33.296s  + 0.953s
 9.  Stephane Richelmi  Draco            1m33.390s  + 1.047s
10.  Sergio Canamasas   BVM Target       1m33.403s  + 1.060s
11.  Daniel de Jong     Comtec           1m33.460s  + 1.117s
12.  Kevin Korjus       Tech 1           1m33.462s  + 1.119s
13.  Brendon Hartley    Gravity-Charouz  1m33.482s  + 1.139s
14.  Walter Grubmuller  P1               1m33.507s  + 1.164s
15.  Daniil Move        P1               1m33.563s  + 1.220s
16.  Fairuz Fauzy       Mofaz            1m33.632s  + 1.289s
17.  Oliver Webb        Pons             1m33.661s  + 1.318s
18.  Nelson Panciatici  KMP              1m33.740s  + 1.397s
19.  Cesar Ramos        Fortec           1m33.784s  + 1.441s
20.  Adrien Tambay      Draco            1m33.803s  + 1.460s
21.  Lewis Williamson   ISR              1m33.818s  + 1.475s
22.  Jake Rosenzweig    Mofaz            1m33.835s  + 1.492s
23.  Arthur Pic         Tech 1           1m33.936s  + 1.593s
24.  Jan Charouz        Gravity-Charouz  1m33.943s  + 1.600s
25.  Sten Pentus        Epic             1m34.097s  + 1.754s
26.  Daniel McKenzie    Comtec           1m34.351s  + 2.008s
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