Belgian David Saelens secured his second successive F3000 pole position as the stars of tomorrow tackled the mean streets of Monaco.

The Super Nova driver had enough in hand to preserve his top spot despite crashing out of the final session with just under ten minutes left to run. Watching from behind the barriers at La Rascasse, Saelens endured an agonising wait to see if championship leader Bruno Junqueira would snatch the pole away, but was able to breathe easy as the chequered flag fell.

Indeed, Junqueira was ultimately toppled from the front row by French F3000 rookie Sebastien Bourdais, who found a flying lap right at the death to leap from twelfth in the order to second.

The climb demoted the Brazilian Petrobras Jr driver to a disappointing third spot, where he will line-up alongside an inspired Jamie Davies, who stands-in for the injured Mario Haberfeld at Fortec.

Pre-season championship favourite Stephane Sarrazin put in his best qualifying performance of the season to take sixth spot, but team-mate Tomas Enge was among the high-profile casualties not to qualify.

He will have to watch Saturday's race along with the second Petrobras car of Jaime Melo Jr - who was assaulted by Soheil Ayari's Coloni example - and Denmark's Kristian Kolby who missed the cut for the second successive race.

Britons Kevin McGarrity, Justin Wilson, Darren Manning and Marc Hynes line up 10th, 16th, 18th and 20th respectively.

A full report and results will follow shortly....