Debutant Aitken secures opening pole position in Jerez

Jack Aitken - Credit: Formula V8 3.5

Jack Aitken took a surprise pole position on his Formula V8 3.5 debut, with the RP Motorsport ace denying SMP Racing a front row lockout.

Aitken set a superb time of 1:26.978 to jump to the top of the timing screens, with the Anglo-Korean racer ending 0.197 seconds ahead of SMP Racing’s Matevos Isaakyan, while 0.633 seconds back in third was the second SMP Racing entry of Matthieu Vaxiviere.

Louis Deletraz, who currently sits second in the championship standings, was fourth fastest for Fortec Motorsports, and had led initially after the first runs of the session, but was unable to keep his position at the head of the field when drivers returned to the track for a second run.

Egor Orudzhev, who had set the pace in the collective test sessions on Friday, ended fifth fastest for Arden Motorsport, just ahead of Yu Kanamaru of Teo Martin Motorsport, whilst championship leader Tom Dillmann was only seventh for AVF by Adrian Vallés.

Rene Binder was the leading Lotus in eighth, but team-mate Roy Nissany, third in the championship and still in contention for the title, could only manage a disappointing fourteenth.

Aurélien Panis was ninth in the second Arden, whilst completing the top ten was Beitske Visser in the second Teo Martin entry, with the Dutch racer having run as high as fifth earlier in the session.

Four drivers are under investigation for track limit offences at turn ten, including Kanamaru and Dillmann, which could have major implications for the latter in the championship battle, sitting as he is only eleven points ahead of Deletraz. The other two drivers being investigated are Vitor Baptista and Alfonso Celis Jr.

Circuito de Jerez Race 1 Qualifying Result

121Jack AitkenGBRRP Motorsport1:26.978
224Matevos IsaakyanRUSSMP Racing1:27.175
323Matthieu VaxiviereFRASMP Racing1:27.611
41Louis DeletrazSWIFortec Motorsports1:27.708
57Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport1:27.742
625Yu KanamaruJAPTeo Martin Motorsport1:27.862
716Tom DillmannFRAAVF1:27.869
83Rene BinderAUTLotus1:27.967
98Aurelien PanisFRAArden Motorsport1:28.070
106Beitske VisserNEDTeo Martin Motorsport1:28.279
1122Vitor BaptistaBRZRP Motorsport1:28.511
1215Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF1:28.566
132Pietro FittipaldiBRZFortec Motorsports1:28.630
144Roy NissanyISRLotus1:28.635
1517Thomas RandleAUSComtec Racing1:28.636
1620Giuseppe CiprianiITADurango Racing Team1:30.309