Fresh from his maiden win in the F3 Euroseries, Jon Lancaster put himself in a good position for the annual F3 Masters event at Zolder after qualifying on the fourth row of the grid at the Belgian circuit.
The ART Grand Prix driver was forced to miss the opening practice session ahead of the event because of a sticking throttle but was quickly up to speed in the second session as he set about making up for lost time.
Having made it through the top 20 shootout following pre-qualifying, Lancaster looked well set to put himself right at the head of the grid but was one of the drivers to lose out when Dani Clos went into the wall and brought out the red flags.
With only two laps available after the stoppage, Lancaster had to settle for seventh on the grid and while he was disappointed to see the session end when it did, he was pleased with his performance during the session.
“It's pretty disappointing that the session ended when it did as over those last three laps I was gaining around two tenths each lap,” he said. “During the red flag interval both Nico and Jules had time to put more air into their tyres but sadly I didn't. These tyres are a lot harder than the normal ones and take a lot more time to get up to temperature but when I went out I was improving my times every lap.
“I'm reasonably happy with the result of qualifying. We were quick throughout the wet session on Friday running pretty much P1 or P2 throughout and quick in the dry too so whatever happens with the weather tomorrow I think we have a good chance.
“I did two laps pushing hard in qualifying as the tyres took a long time to come in but then the session was red-flagged which ended that run. At the restart, I really only had three laps in which to set my quickest lap and I made a mistake and hit the kerb at the second chicane which lost me time. The car is great though; once again the ART Grand Prix team has done a superb job and given me a car with which it's possible to win. It's a good long race tomorrow and there are a few drivers up at the front that haven't been up there before so hopefully I can make up some places at the start.
“I'm feeling pretty confident about the race in any case and if it rains which is forecast, a podium finish is very much a possibility although I'll be going all out for victory.”