European Formula 3

Stroll dominates opening Spa-Francorchamps qualifying

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Lance Stroll - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship / Thomas Suer

Lance Stroll dominated the opening qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps as the championship leader survived tricky track conditions on Thursday.

The Canadian was by far the best on track during the wet session, with the Prema Powerteam driver setting six lap times that would all have been enough to take pole position, with his best time of 2:31.409 ending 1.270 seconds clear of the field.

Maximilian Günther was the best of the rest, with the German making it a Prema 1-2 at the front of the field with a late flying lap, while Ben Barnicoat put in one of his best performances of the season so far to qualify third for Hitech GP.

Nick Cassidy, who set the pace in the earlier practice sessions at the Belgian track, was fourth for Prema Powerteam, while Harrison Newey was an excellent fifth for Van Amersfoort Racing, by far his best qualifying effort of his rookie season.

George Russell was sixth fastest for Hitech GP ahead of Mücke Motorsport’s David Beckmann, with the fourth Prema Powerteam entry of Ralf Aron eighth ahead of Carlin’s Ryan Tveter and Mücke Motorsport’s Mikkel Jensen.

Callum Ilott had a disappointing session for Van Amersfoort Racing, with the Briton, who sits third in the standings with two wins in 2016 so far, down in twentieth after only three fast laps due to being stuck in the pits while his team investigated an errant warning light.

For Ilott at least, he knows he will not start the opening race of the weekend from last, as his team-mate Pedro Piquet will take that honour after failing to set a time at all after a heavy crash in practice prevented him from running during qualifying.

Spa-Francorchamps Race 1 Qualifying Times

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