Carlin Motorsport began the defence of their Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Championship in style by locking out the front row for the first round of the season at Oulton Park.

Max Chilton was their leading driver, the teenager out pacing well regarded team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by three tenths of a second late in the session to secure his third career F3 pole position.

Also a first pole position for Volkswagen as Carlin's new engine-supplier, Chilton was surprised with his lap time.

"I was surprised," the 17-year-old said. "I knew it was a good lap, but I didn't realise until I saw the time that it had been that quick and that it was good enough for pole. I'm very pleased of course; it's a great start to my season."

Behind Ricciardo was another F3 rookie, Daisuke Nakajima, who was an impressive third quickest in his first qualifying session fort the Double R Racing team, while he shares the second row with JTR's Nick Tandy.

Hitech's sole representative, Walter Grubmuller, was fifth quickest, ahead of Fortec's Riki Christodoulou, while Henry Arundel secured his first top ten starting position in seventh, ahead of his debut for Carlin. Formula BMW graduate Carlos Huertas starts eighth in the second Double R car, with Oli Oakes ninth and Adriano Buzaid tenth in the best of the T-Sport Volkswagen entries.

Daniel McKenzie was the frontrunner in the National Class, qualifying 14th overall, ahead of Gabriel Dias.

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