Max Chilton has taken his second pole position in as many events in the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series after leading the way in qualifying for the opening race of the weekend at Silverstone.
The Carlin driver posted a quickest time of 1min 39.798secs at the wheel of his Volkswagen-powered Dallara which was well under the previous lap record for the full GP layout at the Northamptonshire venue. It gave the young Briton pole by less than a tenth of a second ahead of Renger van der Zande – the Dutchman celebrating his late call-up to the Hitech line-up with a place on the front row of the grid.
Chilton's run to pole was aided by championship leader Daniel Ricciardo spinning off, although the 18-year-old was still thrilled with his position at the head of the field.
“Having been quick at Oulton and then in testing here, I felt quite confident ahead of the qualifying session this morning,” he said. “I think I was quite lucky in a way – there's no doubting that Dan [Ricciardo] would have bee challenging for pole if he hadn't spun off, and I think Nick Tandy had a problem as well. But then again, pole is pole and I think I did a good job, I did two laps good enough to get pole so I'm quite happy.”
Behind the top two, Adriano Buzaid was third quickest for T-Sport, with Daisuke Nakajima, Riki Christodolou and Walter Grubmuller rounding out the top six.
Ricciardo's incident, which came early on at Copse, left the Australian with work to do from eleventh on the grid.
"I'm still not quite sure what happened," he said, "it might have been my error or maybe something broke. I went on the grass and that was that. Luckily I didn't hit anything solid."
Gabriel Dias took pole position in the National Class in 13th place overall, just ahead of double Oulton Park winner Daniel McKenzie.