MGR Motorsport pairing Colin Noble and Pietro Fittipaldi took a pole position each for the final two rounds of the 2014 Protyre Formula Renault Championship at Silverstone.
The opening fifteen minute session came in the morning, with the nine car field taking to the track in clear, sunny conditions. Series returnee Michael Epps and Cliff Dempsey Racing duo TJ Fischer and Patrick Dussault were the pace-setters in the early moments, before the big-hitters moved to the fore.
Piers Hickin, Matteo Ferrer, newly crowned champion Fittipaldi and Noble were in the fight for the top spot, and it looked like it would be Hickin who would take pole to back up his maiden category win at Croft last weekend.
Unfortunately for the Scorpio Motorsport man though, his decision to park his car in the pits with two minutes to go despite setting a purple first sector backfired, with a last-gasp lap from Noble seeing him snatch pole for race one by 0.020s with a best lap of 56.529s.
Ferrer took third ahead of team-mate Fittipaldi, making it three MGR Motorsport cars in the top four, while TJ Fischer continued his strong run of form to take fifth. Alex Gill rounded out the top six, with an ultra-close session seeing the first six cars split by just 0.256s. Dussault and Epps were next up, both within nine tenths of pole, while Jack Butel was a distant ninth.
The second session in the afternoon played out in similar fashion to the first, with a fairly sedate start to proceedings building into a dramatic last couple of minutes. Noble and Ferrer were the first drivers to break the 57 second barrier around the halfway mark of the fifteen minute outing, but Hickin and Fittipaldi soon fought their way to the front.
Scorpio’s Hickin looked like he would make amends for his earlier error as he sat in provisional pole with a few minutes left on the track, but a brief trip through the pits for Fittipaldi proved the catalyst for a late charge.
The Brazilian, who wrapped up the title last weekend at Croft, grabbed pole for the second race of the weekend with his final lap of the session, his best of 56.672s being narrowly slower than Noble’s earlier fastest time.
Ferrer went on to grab a front-row start alongside his team-mate, with Hickin left to settle for third 0.139s adrift of pole. Noble could only back up his pole with fourth meanwhile ahead of Gill, Fischer and Dussault, with SWB Motorsport’s Epps and Butel completing the grid once again.
The opening race of the weekend is at 17.05 this afternoon, with race two, televised live on ITV4, tomorrow afternoon at 14.20.