Briton takes qualifying clean sweep as Afanasiev and Bratt complete the top three
Jolyon Palmer stormed to his second pole of the weekend in Monza, the Briton becoming the only driver to dip under the 1m40s bracket after a fantastic lap five minutes from the end of the session.
Palmer’s effort means he is currently on for the coveted clean sweep after taking pole and victory in the opening race.
Behind him Sergey Afanasiev took second, just over two tenths adrift, after the Lukoil-backed racer briefly held top spot. With times tumbling rapidly during the overboost enabled session, Palmer produced his stunning late flyer to relegate his Russian rival down to second. Such was the speed during the session that Palmer’s benchmark was nearly two seconds faster than Mihai Marinescu’s pole time from yesterday.
"Monza has been a good track for me so far!," Palmer said. "I’ve never been here before this weekend but I’ve really got to grips with it, I love the place and it couldn’t be going any better so far. I just got a good lap together and used my boosts perfectly – a two second improvement was more than I thought, but it was a great lap."
Although Afanasiev was pipped to pole, the Russian will be pleased to have bounced back from a difficult weekend so far. Having missed qualifying one due to illness, Afanasiev went on to carve his way through the field in today’s opening race, only to crash out in disappointment late on.
Will Bratt has enjoyed a fantastic day at Monza – a circuit which holds special memories for him having clinched the Euroseries 3000 crown here last October. The young Briton narrowly finished outside the podium positions in the earlier race after starting from tenth on the grid, and he continued with his good form to take third in qualifying two this afternoon.
Championship leader Philipp Eng clinched fourth narrowly ahead of Mihai Marinescu and Kelvin Snoeks – incredibly the trio were covered by just 0.011s. Home driver Nicola De Marco took seventh away from Kazim Vasiliauskas, although both drivers were hoping to be closer to the front.
Johan Jokinen and Dean Stoneman rounded out the top ten after setting exactly the same time – Jokinen will line-up in ninth however, as he set his lap time shortly before the Briton. Having set the fastest race lap earlier today, Jokinen had been targeting pole position, but he lost critical time after unfortunately being held up by Plamen Kralev on his flying lap.