Daniel Juncadella began his career as an Formula 3 Euroseries driver in style by claiming pole position on his debut at Paul Ricard.

The 2009 Formula BMW Europe runner-up was in fine form around the French circuit to prevail in an exciting battle with Signature pairing Laurens Vanthoor and Marco Wittmann, the Spaniard's effort of 1min 52.624secs proving good enough to keep them at bay.

Additionally, Juncadella's pole position signals Prema Powerteam's first at this level since Ryan Briscoe managed it on four occasions during his and the team's title-winning season in 2003.

"My first qualifying in the Formula 3 Euro Series and pole position right away, I didn't expect that. In fact, I had hoped for a top five result at best. I already knew parts of the track following a test last week and that certainly helped me today. In qualifying, my car was perfect after we had had some minor problems earlier on.""

Vanthoor will start alongside him in second position ahead of his full-time F3 Euroseries debut, while Wittmann and pre-season faviourite Valtteri Bottas will start third and fourth.

British drivers Alex Sims and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, meanwhile, will begin the 2010 season from sixth and ninth respectively.