Rob Austin topped the second qualifying session at Donington Park this morning [Saturday] to take pole position for tomorrow's round 22 of the British F3 Championship gripped by Avon Tyres.

Carlin duo Alan van der Merwe and Jamie Green were second and third fastest, but it was Menu F3's Austin who claimed pole position in a session that got progressively faster as damp patches on the track dried out.

In the Scholarship class P1 Motorsport driver Ernesto Viso narrowly headed the times from T Sports duo Steven Kane and Karun Chandhok.

In a thrilling session that featured constantly changing times, Austin timed his run to perfection to grab pole by just five-hundredths of a second from van der Merwe. "Things went our way for once," said Austin after taking his first British F3 Championship pole. "It came together; by the time I did the lap the grip level was maximum," he added.

van der Merwe and Green was very closely matched in second and third slots, while Fairuz Fauzy [Promatecme F3] continued his excellent recent form to take fourth, even though he damaged his car late in the session by spinning off at the Old Hairpin. The Promatecme team will have the car ready for the race, however.

Danny Watts [Hitech Racing] was fifth fastest ahead of Billy Asaro [P1 Motorsport] as the American racer produced one of his best qualifying performances to date.

Viso took his second Scholarship pole of the season, but was only three-hundredths of a second ahead of Kane. "We went the wrong way on set-up in testing, but now it's getting better and better," said Kane. "It will be about whoever gets off the line best," he said of the prospects for the race. The third Scholarship title contender Karun Chandhok was only two-tenths of a second down on Viso and Kane.



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