William Buller took a narrow pole position for tomorrow’s British Formula 3 feature race at Monza.
The County Down native set his quick lap early in the session – his time of 1:45.491 was enough to fend off the advances of Carlin’s Kevin Magnussen.
The Fortec pilot also took pole position for the opening race this evening, shadowed by Magnussen and and Fortec teammate, Lucas Foresti.
Buller was reasonably ecstatic:
“It’s a great way to start the season. It just shows that it’s the first qualifying session that matters and not all the pre-season testing times. The whole team has put in a massive amount of hard work to get us here, and I’d like to thank each and every member for their dedication. Qualifying is all about managing your tyres and I nailed it today.”
Magnussen came close to Buller’s ultimate lap, falling short by a mere five-hundredths of a second, while Foresti assumed 3rd on the grid for the main event, albeit 0.443 shy of the pole man.
The next two places were filled by Carlin-prepared machinery as Jazeman Jaafar beat Carlos Huertas to 4th on the grid. Hitech’s Riki Christodoulou secured 6th with a best of 1:46.130.
Christodoulou narrowly headed Harry Tincknell (7th, Fortec), Felipe Nasr (8th, Carlin) and Pietro Fantin (9th, Hitech), while Rupert Svendsen-Cook rounded out the top ten, nearly one second off of Buller’s pace.
Pipo Derani pipped Double-R teammate Scott Pye to 11th on the grid. Menasheh Idafar missed out on the sixth row by the narrowest of margins, with a quickest turn 0.001 slower than Pye.
Jack Harvey (Carlin) will line up 14th. The runner-up from last year’s Formula BMW Europe Series may be somewhat disappointed with that result – it leaves him last of the Carlin sextet.
Fahmi Ilyas qualified his Hitech Mercedes machine 15th, one-tenth ahead of Hywel Lloyd (Sino Vision). Adderly Fong (Sino Vision) and Bruno Mendez (Hitech) secured the ninth row ahead of Rookie Class contender Bart Hylkema (19th, T-Sport).
Yann Cunha will line up 20th, with only Kotaru Sakurai behind him. Sakurai only managed six laps in the session – the 16-year-old spun midway through the session, collecting gravel from the Parabolica.
Qualifying Race 1 1. William Buller Fortec-Mercedes 1:45.750 2. Kevin Magnussen Carlin-Volkswagen 1:46.022 3. Lucas Foresti Fortec-Mercedes 1:46.056 4. Carlos Huertas Carlin-Volkswagen 1:46.102 5. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin-Volkswagen 1:46.106 6. Felipe Nasr Carlin-Volkswagen 1:46.174 7. Riki Christodoulou Hitech-Volkswagen 1:46.215 8. Harry Tincknell Fortec-Mercedes 1:46.316 9. Pietro Fantin Hitech-Volkswagen 1:46.318 10. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin-Volkswagen 1:46.544 11. Jack Harvey Carlin-Volkswagen 1:46.743 12. Scott Pye Double R-Mercedes 1:46.754 13. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport-Volkswagen 1:46.925 14. Pipo Derani Double R-Mercedes 1:46.965 15. Fahmi Ilyas Fortec-Mercedes 1:47.138 16. Adderly Fong Sino Vision-Mercedes 1:47.403 17. Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision-Mercedes 1:47.509 18. Bruno Mendez Hitech-Volkswagen 1:47.701 19. Yann Cunha T-Sport-Volkswagen 1:47.960 20. Bart Hylkema T-Sport Mugen-Honda 1:48.053 21. Kotaru Sakurai Hitech Mugen-Honda 1:49.608 Race 2 will line-up with a partial reverse grid. Qualifying, Race 3 1. William Buller Fortec-Mercedes 1:45.491 2. Kevin Magnussen Carlin-Volkswagen 0.053 3. Lucas Foresti Fortec-Mercedes 0.443 4. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin-Volkswagen 0.484 5. Carlos Huertas Carlin-Volkswagen 0.509 6. Riki Christodoulou Hitech-Volkswagen 0.639 7. Harry Tincknell Fortec-Mercedes 0.654 8. Felipe Nasr Carlin-Volkswagen 0.671 9. Pietro Fantin Hitech-Volkswagen 0.683 10. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin-Volkswagen 0.965 11. Pipo Derani Double R-Mercedes 1.049 12. Scott Pye Double R-Mercedes 1.095 13. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport-Volkswagen 1.096 14. Jack Harvey Carlin-Volkswagen 1.121 15. Fahmi Ilyas Fortec-Mercedes 1.391 16. Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision-Mercedes 1.505 17. Adderly Fong Sino Vision-Mercedes 1.904 18. Bruno Mendez Hitech-Volkswagen 2.185 19. Bart Hylkema T-Sport Mugen-Honda 2.248 20. Yann Cunha T-Sport-Volkwagen 2.370 21. Kotaru Sakurai Hitech Mugen-Honda 3.695