Bridger snatches pole with last gasp effort
21/09/12 - F3 Cup debutant Jay Bridger snatched pole position for this afternoon's opening race on the Silverstone GP circuit with a stunning last gasp effort.
The former British F3 National Class champion saved his best until the dying seconds of the session on the famous GP circuit, posting an impressive 2.00.531s to take pole away from Lanan Racing's Kourosh Khani. The Iranian had held provisional pole for the majority of the session. Louis Hamilton-Smith was third with title challengers Gino Ussi, Chris Dittmann and Tristan Cliffe fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.
The F3 Cup field woke up to overcast conditions at the Northamptonshire circuit but with a dry track, the times were on the pace with last year's event held in hot sunny weather. With the F3 Cup joining forces with the Monoposto Racing Club for this weekend, a total of 53 cars took part in qualifying. This made finding clear air and track a challenge for all.
Winner from the previous visit to Silverstone, Hamilton-Smith set the initial pace with Cliffe in second and Prajesh Shah, who is riding high after his podium at Anglesey, in third. It didn't take long for the drivers to settle and Chris Dittmann signalled his intentions by grabbing the provisional pole from Hamiton-Smith, while Mark Bailey Racing's Stuart Wiltshire fired himself into the top five.
Bridger then struck for the first time topping the timing screens, but it was short-lived as Hamilton-Smith responded with another personal best. However, by the halfway stage Khani came to prominance with the first time in the two minute window. It seemed as though the Iranian would secure his third pole of the season only for Bridger to strike late on snatching pole by just 0.181seconds. Ussi was the strongest of the title contenders in thrid but he was bumped down to fourth late on, just ahead of his rivals Dittmann and Cliffe.
Nick Robinson was the quickest Mark Bailey Racing runner in seventh just ahead of F3 veteran Chris Needham, Shah and Wiltshire. Debutants Jonathan Weston-Taylor and Fraser Smart were 14th and 18th respectively.
Race one will begin at 14:50pm.
F3 Cup Silverstone GP Qualifying Results
1. Jay Bridger Cup Omicron Motorsport, 2.00.531s
2. Kourosh Khani Cup Lanan Racing, +0.181s
3. Louis Hamilton-Smith Cup +0.907s
4. Gino Ussi Cup Grays Motorsport, +1.119s
5. Chris Dittmann Trophy Chris Dittmann Racing, +1.180s
6. Tristan Cliffe Cup Omicron Motorsport, +2.995s
7. Nick Robinson Cup Mark Bailey Racing, +4.514s
8. Chris Needham Cup DST Group Ltd, +5.308s
9. Prajesh Shah Cup Chris Dittmann Racing, +5.323s
10. Stuart Wiltshire Cup Mark Bailey Racing, +6.162s
11. Mark Harrison, Cup, Magic Motorsport, +6.255s
12. Neil Harrison, Cup, Magic Motorsport, +6.454s
13. Dave Karaskas, Masters, Dave Karaskas Racing, +8.190s
14. Jonathan Weston-Taylor, Trophy, +8.602s
15. Jeremy Timms, Trophy, +8.615s
16. Phil Austin, Trophy, +8.660s
17. Frank Thomas, Cup, Mark Bailey Racing, +8.762s
18. Fraser Smart, Trophy, Stanbridge Motorsport, +10.800s
19. James Ledamun, Trophy, +14.373s
20. Matt Payne, Cup, +17.505s