Polish Formula Three sensation Robert Kubica will start the opening race of the inaugural Sardinia F3 Masters from pole position having conquered the rest of the top ten qualifiers in the official superpole session.

The Prema Powerteam driver beat off the challenge of F3 veteran Paolo Montin to take top spot for Saturday's opening race, which supports the final round of the Euro F3000 Championship, over the unique two-lap superpole format.

Despite it being his first event on a true street circuit, the Pole recorded two laps under 1min 10secs to enjoy a tenth of a second gap over Macau regular Montin, whose best lap was quickest overall, but lagged behind Kubica on his first tour. The Euroseries regular also benefited from running last of the ten drivers involved in the shootout, and was able to measure exactly what he needed to do to take the all-important 'pole' slot.

Row two features the first of Coloni's two Lola-Dome chassis, which Marco Bonanomi took to within half a second of the top two places. The result was a success for the young Italian, who had been down in eighth place after the group qualifying session, and did not have the benefit of monitoring his rivals' progress before venturing out on track. Bonanomi shares row two with single-seater returnee Andrea Belicchi, who turned his initial fifth qualifying place into fourth on the grid.

Losing out in the reshuffle was Carlin Motorsport recruit Ernesto Viso, who slipped back two places in the two-lap shootout to lie fifth ahead of race one. The Venezuelan, who joined the team for the Sardinian race after winning the British F3 Scholarship title, had been third after 'normal' qualifying, but could not break 1min 10secs when it mattered. Viso shares row three with Coloni's Michele Ruggolo, who climbed from seventh in the first session.

Gregory Franchi and Matteo Cressoni line up on row four, while Coloni team leader Christian Montanari managed only ninth overall after two laps above 1min 13secs. The Italian, who crowned his runner-up spot in the Italian national championship with an impressive debut in the FIA F3000 series, had been expected to challenge for a possible pole slot despite only taking sixth place in opening qualifying, but will now have to battle through the pack on the tricky street circuit.

Sharing the fifth row with the Lola-Dome driver will be T-Sport's Fairuz Fauzy, who last only a short way into his first timed lap. The Malaysian will however start ahead of seven other drivers, all of whom failed to make the cut for the superpole session.

Among these, Carlin's other newcomer, Clivio Piccione, will start from the very back of the grid after failing to record a qualifying time in the first session.

 

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