Binder and Palou share Poles at Circuit of the America

Rene Binder will start race one from pole position at the Circuit of the Americas - Credit: Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

Rene Binder and Alex Palou have shared out the pole positions at the Circuit of the Americas as the World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship makes its debut stateside this weekend.

Qualifying 1

Binder, who has seen his championship challenge slip away from him in recent races, headed a Lotus 1-2 ahead of Pietro Fittipaldi in the first qualifying session on Thursday evening, with the Austrian racing with a new engine this weekend as he looks to revive those fading hopes of the title.

The team-mates up-front were the only drivers to dip below 1:50s during the opening session, with Binder’s 1:49.764s beating Fittipaldi by 0.168 seconds, while Egor Orudzhev of SMP Racing by AVF and Palou of Teo Martin Motorsport will share row two, 0.264 and 0.319 seconds back respectively.

Mateovos Isaakyan, who currently sits second in the standings to Fittipaldi with just this weekend’s races and two more in Bahrain to come, will start the opening race from fifth on the grid in the second SMP Racing by AVF machine, with Konstantin Tereschenko, fresh off his maiden series podium in Mexico City last time out, joining him on the third row.

Alfonso Celis Jr and Diego Menchaca form an all-Fortec Motorsports row four, while RP Motorsport duo Yu Kanamaru and Roy Nissany complete row five, ahead of the sole Il Barone Rampante driver Giuseppe Cipriani.

Circuit of the Americas Race 1 Qualifying Result

13Rene BinderAUTLotus1:49.764
24Pietro FittipaldiBRZLotus1:49.932
35Egor OrudzhevRUSSMP Racing by AVF1:50.028
410Alex PalouESPTeo Martin Motorsport1:50.083
56Matevos IsaakyanRUSSMP Racing by AVF1:50.148
69Konstantin TereschenkoRUSTeo Martin Motorsport1:50.633
77Alfonso Celis JrMEXFortec Motorsports1:50.756
88Diego MenchacaMEXFortec Motorsports1:51.169
912Yu KanamaruJAPRP Motorsport1:51.281
1011Roy NissanyISRRP Motorsport1:51.489
1115Giuseppe CiprianiITABarone Rampante1:54.157

Qualifying 2

The eleven drivers returned to the track for their second qualifying session on Friday morning, and it saw Palou and Fittipaldi set identical times at the top of the timing screens, with the Spaniard assuming top spot by the fact he set the time first.

Palou set the time of 1:49.411s with less than two minutes remaining, but Fittipaldi could only match that time as the chequered flag fell, with both drivers just over a tenth faster than Orudzhev in third.

Race one pole sitter Binder will start race two from fourth on the grid, with Isaakyan again fifth, while Celis Jr is sixth ahead of Nissany, Menchaca, Tereschenko, Kanamaru and Cipriani.

Circuit of the Americas Race 2 Qualifying Result

110Alex PalouESPTeo Martin Motorsport1:49.411
24Pietro FittipaldiBRZLotus1:49.411
35Egor OrudzhevRUSSMP Racing by AVF1:49.535
43Rene BinderAUTLotus1:49.741
56Matevos IsaakyanRUSSMP Racing by AVF1:50.081
67Alfonso Celis JrMEXFortec Motorsports1:50.153
711Roy NissanyISRRP Motorsport1:50.161
88Diego MenchacaMEXFortec Motorsports1:50.612
99Konstantin TereschenkoRUSTeo Martin Motorsport1:50.783
1012Yu KanamaruJAPRP Motorsport1:50.946
1115Giuseppe CiprianiITABarone Rampante1:53.779
Alex Palou will start race two from the front of the field – Credit: Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency