Ollie Bearman and Sebastian Montoya shared the Italian Formula 4 pole positions at Vallelunga.
Points leader Bearman was the driver to beat after going fastest in both free practice sessions, and in the first qualifying session he went on to take pole over Montoya by 0.160 seconds.
Cenyu Han, Bearman’s Van Amersfoort Racing team-mate, was an impressive third but even more astounding was Prema’s new driver Charlie Wurz.
The karting graduate and rallycross racer, son of former Formula 1 driver and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Alex Wurz, was just 0.248 seconds slower than Bearman and qualified fourth.
US Racing, back in the series after missing the last round, ended up on the third row of the grid as Tim Tramnitz qualified fifth, just beating Joshua Duerksen (Mucke Motorsport) and Kirill Smal (Prema).
After qualifying ninth for race one, VAR’s Joshua Dufek began Q2 on top, but his time in first place was shortlived as Montoya became the first driver in the session to break into the 1m33s.
Montoya improved to a 1m33.564s, putting him on provisional pole by 0.085s over Tramnitz, when red flags were waved with two minutes to go as Cram Motorsport’s Georgios Markogiannis crashed at the last corner by putting a wheel off track and then spiralling into the wall.
This left the improving Bearman and Han unable to compete their flying laps, and secured pole for Montoya. Bearman qualified third, ahead of Dufek, Han and Al Qubaisi.
Using the second-fastest times from both sessions, Bearman also claimed pole for race three by 0.120s over Montoya. Wurz will line up third for just his third race in single-seaters, with Tramnitz alongside based off his Q2 effort (while most others set their second-best laps in Q1).
Race 1 grid
1 Ollie Bearman Van Amersfoort Racing 1m33.650s
2 Sebastian Montoya Prema +0.160s
3 Cenyu Han Van Amersfoort Racing +0.226s
4 Charlie Wurz Prema +0.248s
5 Tim Tramnitz US Racing +0.315s
6 Joshua Duerksen Mucke Motorsport +0.326s
7 Kirill Smal Prema +0.330s
8 Lorenzo Patrese AKM Motorsport +0.360s
9 Joshua Dufek Van Amersfoort Racing +0.375s
10 Hamda Al Qubaisi Prema +0.418s
Race 2 grid
1 Montoya 1m33.564s
2 Tramnitz +0.085s
3 Bearman +0.121s
4 Dufek +0.349s
5 Han +0.446s
6 Al Qubaisi +0.448s
7 Conrad Laursen Prema +0.535s
8 Smal +0.603s
9 Duerksen +0.644s
10 Wurz +0.653s
Race 3 grid
1 Bearman 1m33.742s
2 Montoya +0.120s
3 Wurz +0.255s
4 Tramnitz +0.281s
5 Dufek +0.284s
6 Han +0.379s
7 Smal +0.384s
8 Duerksen +0.436s
9 Laursen +0.451s
10 Patrese +0.486s