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Experience gives van der Zande Hockenheim pole

5 June 2009

Familiarity with the Hockenheim layout played its part during qualifying for the first of the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series' 'awayday' rounds as Renger van der Zande posted the fastest time of the day to claim pole for Saturdays seventh round.

The Hitech Racing driver lapped the German grand prix track in a time of 1min 32.965secs to become the only driver in the field to break the 93secs barrier and was more than a second inside this year's F3 Euroseries pole time.

"I love this track and the car is fantastic here," van der Zande admitted, "I have raced here many times and won here also, so Hockenheim is special for me. I am very pleased with the time, which is better than the Euroseries, and that is thanks to the fantastic Cooper tyres. I think we can go quicker still tomorrow if the weather is right."

The 23-year old Dutchman's Mercedes-powered Dallara was seven-hundredths of a second faster than championship leader Daniel Ricciardo's Volkswagen-motivated machine, with Rockingham victor Marcus Ericsson third for the Raikkonen Robertson team. Last weekend's other race winner, Nick Tandy, went tenth quickest in his JTR Mygale.

Carlin and RRR also filled places four and five, courtesy of Max Chilton and Carlos Huertas, while Robert Wickens European experience ensured that he slotted comfortably into the Carlin line-up by qualifying sixth fastest on his debut in the British F3 series. Walter Grubmuller, Antonio Buzaid and Riki Christodoulou filled the remaining top ten places.

There were problems for National Class pacesetter Gabriel Dias, who crashed his Fortec Dallara heavily at the first corner having comfortably out-paced main rival Daniel McKenzie.


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