FR3.5 » 1 January 1901
Teen Pic perfect for pole.
Teenager Charles Pic caused a significant stir in front of the F1 paddock at Monaco by snatching pole position for the World Series by Renault's blue riband event, the 18-year-old doing so on his first visit to the legendary circuit.
With just the single race of the weekend prompting organisers to revert back to the 'two group' system without the current superpole regulations, Pic made the most of a rain affected session to bolt on dry tyres at the right time and snatch a maiden pole position for himself, as well as the first of the season for reigning champions Tech 1 Racing.
Benefiting from featuring in the second group, with the circuit drying out quickly compared to its state when the first group of drivers went out to qualify, nearly all drivers embarked on a two lap sprint for what would effectively decide pole position.
It was Pic that emerged in front though, the rookie driver's advantage shown by the fact he was almost ten seconds faster than that of Giedo van der Garde, who will start second.
The championship leader was forced to qualify on a wet circuit, but lived up to his superb qualifying record this season by securing the fastest time and thus guaranteeing himself a spot on the front of the grid.
His cause was aided when the opening session was ended early following a crash for Danill Move, effectively ending Julien Jousse's attempts at wrestling provisional pole position off the Dutchman. Nonetheless, the Frenchman will start fourth overall, alongside series returnee Fairuz Fauzy who did an outstanding job on his debut for Fortec Motorsport to set the second fastest time overall and secure a third place starting position.
Mikhail Aleshin will start fifth for Carlin, just ahead of Spa winner Bertrand Baguette in the Draco machine. They in turn edged KTR's Guillaume Moreau and James Walker, the Brit ensuring Fortec are destined for one of their best weekends yet in the series with eighth on the grid. Spanish duo Miguel Molina and Maximo Cortes rounded out the top ten.
There was disappointment for practice pace setter and title contender Salvador Duran though, the Mexican unable to get the chance to qualify on slick tyres and as a result starting down in 17th place. Fellow expected front runners, Marco Bonanomi, Alvaro Barba, Robert Wickens and Pasquale di Sabatino were also well down the order in 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd respectively.
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