Frenchman claims maiden pole at Donington
Julien Jousse has taken a maiden pole position for tomorrow’s second Formula Two race, after a dramatic qualifying session at Donington Park this afternoon (Saturday).
After a thrilling contest with Sweden’s Sebastian Hohenthal, Jousse ultimately prevailed and topped the timesheets with a laptime of 1:23.507s, a tenth of a second ahead of his rival.
It was Hohenthal who held provisional pole for much of the session, until Frenchman Jousse began to trade times with 24-year-old Swede. Only Soucek threatened to steal the show as he set the fastest time in the session with 11 minutes remaining. Soon after, the championship leader went off and ended his session at the entry to the Craner Curves.
It was left to Jousse to attack Hohenthal’s benchmark and he clinched the pole in the final ten minutes: "I am very happy because I have been looking for this result in qualifying for a very long time," said Jousse. "I have been fourth or fifth but never on the top. I was fast in the first qualifying session but I made too many mistakes. I was lucky in this session to avoid the yellow flags and find a good opportunity.
"I think it is a good beginning for this weekend because I need to score a lot of points to catch the leader of the championship. There are three meetings to go after Donington, so a lot of things can happen. I just need to concentrate on scoring well and we will take each race one at a time. Hopefully I can perform like this tomorrow!"
Mirko Bortolotti took third, whilst Kazim Vasiliauskas acheived his best qualifying position of the season with fourth. Edoardo Piscopo was just 0.005s behind the Lithuanian in fifth, whilst Soucek rounded out the top after tumbling down the order following his spin.
Mikhail Aleshin will be disappointed to be starting tomorrow’s second race from row four, as will his Red Bull Junior Team colleague Robert Wickens. This morning’s pole sitter Tobias Hegewald endured another spin whilst on the quickest lap of the session. The German had to settle for ninth, ahead of Philipp Eng. In one of the tightest qualifying sessions yet this season, less than half a second separated the entire top ten.
There were personal best qualifying performances from both Germán Sánchez and Armaan Ebrahim who will line-up 13th and 14th respectively for the race. Pietro Gandolfi was one of the drivers who was again caught out at Goddards, whilst Tom Gladdis was a spinner at the Melbourne Loop.
The opening race will get underway at 10:50 tomorrow (Sunday) UK time and the final race of the weekend will take place at 15:45.
Qualifying Two Provisional Classification:
1. Julien Jousse, 1:23.507s
2. Sebastian Hohenthal, +0.128s
3. Mirko Bortolotti, +0.174s
4. Kazim Vasiliauskas, +0.202s
5. Edoardo Piscopo, +0.207s
6. Andy Soucek, +0.256s
7. Mikhail Aleshin, +0.340
8. Robert Wickens, +0.3.77s
9. Tobias Hegewald, +0.436s
10. Philipp Eng, +0.496s