He left it late, but Raffaele Marciello secured pole position for tomorrow’s ten-lap Formula 3 qualifying race at Macau.
The Prema Powerteam racer and newly crowned FIA European F3 champion took to the top spot not long before the clock ran down in a session repeatedly broken up by red flags.
Fortec new-boy, Tom Blomqvist, headed the session for a time before Marciello’s championship rival, Felix Rosenqvist (Mücke), jumped to the top spot as the clock ticked toward zero.
With the red and yellow flags repeatedly breaking runs and routines, Marciello took advantage of a short patch of green flag running to set a pole time of 2:11.555s.
It gave the Italian an advantage of 0.067s over Rosenqvist when the time did run out, although both the front row men decided against one last lap on the spectacular Chinese circuit.
Alex Lynn and Lucas Auer made it an all-Prema Powerteam second row, with the Englishman a solid four-tenths up on his teammate. Carlin’s Antonio Felix da Costa was another improver in the latter stages, while Blomqvist eventually dropped to 6th overall.
Pipo Derani (Fortec) headed a gang of Carlin drivers, led by Formula Renault 3.5 regular Jazeman Jaafar, while Harry Tincknell and Jordan King rounded out the top ten.
The first race runs tomorrow morning from 6am, with live audio and timing & scoring feed available from macau.grandprix.gov.mo.
The Macau Grand Prix will be shown in delayed broadcast on Motors TV this Sunday at 3.30pm. All times are UK.
2013 Macau F3 Grand Prix (Combined Qualifying) Pos Driver Team/Car Time 1. Raffaele Marciello Prema Dallara-Merc 2m11.555s 2. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m11.622s 3. Alex Lynn Prema Dallara-Merc 2m11.639s 4. Lucas Auer Prema Dallara-Merc 2m12.052s 5. Antonio Felix da Costa Carlin Dallara-VW 2m12.083s 6. Tom Blomqvist Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m12.111s 7. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m12.144s 8. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW 2m12.225s 9. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW 2m12.409s 10. Jordan King Carlin Dallara-VW 2m12.616s 11. Alexander Sims T-Sport Dallara-Nissan 2m12.698s 12. Will Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m12.768s 13. Kevin Korjus Double R Dallara-Merc 2m13.053s 14. Carlos Sainz Jr Carlin Dallara-VW 2m13.173s 15. Esteban Ocon Prema Dallara-Merc 2m13.333s 16. Nicholas Latifi Carlin Dallara-VW 2m13.551s 17. Stefano Coletti Eurointernational Dallara-Merc 2m13.777s 18. Yuhi Sekiguchi Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m13.833s 19. Lucas Wolf URD Dallara-Merc 2m13.938s 20. Antonio Giovinazzi Double R Dallara-Merc 2m14.018s 21. Yuichi Nakayama TOM'S Dallara-Toyota 2m14.308s 22. Dennis van de Laar Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m14.310s 23. John Bryant-Meisner Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m14.570s 24. Sean Gelael Double R Dallara-Merc 2m14.657s 25. Nelson Mason Zeller Dallara-Merc 2m14.706s 26. Ed Jones Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m14.975s 27. Katsumasa Chiyo B-Max Dallara-Toyota 2m15.253s 28. Sun Zheng Double R Dallara-Merc 2m18.912s