Collard beats Leist to Pole, Setting up an Enthralling Weekend

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It was another enticing BRDC British F3 Championship qualifying session with Ricky Collard taking pole with a 1min 43.156. His time was enough to put him out in front for race one, despite not beating Matheus Leist‘s best from Friday.

To the surprise of many Harrison Scott set the early pace as the times tumbled in the first few minutes. Leist, who’d ended practice as the fastest driver, showed early promise in the session, it wasn’t long though before rival Thomas Randle who took top spot.

As the session settled into a rhythm, Toby Sowery leaped up to first. The Lanan Racing driver had struggled on Friday and was finally proving that he had the pace around the Snetterton circuit.

It was Collard who finally set the field alight with a time three tenths quicker than anyone. Seeing himself comfortably in front, he backed off with 2 minutes to go. Leist attempted to prove him wrong in the closing laps, but failed to beat him with his poor final sector time. The Brazilian had been the quickest out there in sector 1 and 2, but was unable to hook it up through the final complex.

This left Collard to take his third pole of the season with Leist joining him on the front row. A final recovery lap saw Sowery take third ahead of the ever impressive Ben Hingeley.

On his return to the series, Scott managed to take fifth with Randle alongside him. The Australian will be disappointed after he failed to beat any of his title rivals. In his first qualifying session, F3 European Series driver Nikita Mazepin impressed with seventh as Quinlan Lall was unable to reproduce his Friday form and ended eighth.

Going into the penultimate round of the season, Leist trailed Collard by 4 points. The loss of the pole position will be a big blow to the Brazilian who will have to rely on his start if he is to get ahead of Collard early on.

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