Franco Colapinto beat his title rivals to pole for the first Toyota Racing Series race of the weekend at Manfeild.
The Kiwi Motorsport driver, who lies third in the points ahead of the season finale, set a 1m03.185s lap to take pole ahead of title rival Igor Fraga.
Championship leader Liam Lawson, team-mate to Fraga at M2 Competition, was pushed down to fourth on the timesheet by Colapinto’s circuit-experienced team-mate Spike Kohlbecker.
Fraga set the pace early in the session when the first flying laps were coming in, but improvements throughout the field meant he never stayed top for too long.
Caio Collet, Gregoire Saucy and Ido Cohen were among those to briefly occupy the top spot before falling down the order as others found pace.
With less than five minutes to go, Lawson was yet to threaten the top three. He soon bounced from ninth to fourth before, with less than three minutes remaining, he managed his best time of the session.
Soon after he shaved 0.006s off Fraga?s then fastest time to go fastest, but that was soon beaten as rivals picked up slipstreams for their final laps.
Colapinto and Fraga quickly bumped Lawson down to third, before Kohlbecker found improvements on his final lap of the session to go third.
Tijmen van der Helm, another Kiwi Motorsport driver and the free practice pacesetter, was fifth quickest ahead of MTEC Motorsport by R-ace GP’s Collet and Giles Motorsport’s Saucy.
Kenny Smith will start his first race in regional Formula 3 from last on the grid, but the 78-year-old was only 1.433s off the pace.
|1||Franco Colapinto||Kiwi Motorsport||1m03.185s|
|2||Igor Fraga||M2 Compeition||+0.152s|
|3||Spike Kohlbecker||Kiwi Motorsport||+0.186s|
|4||Liam Lawson||M2 Competition||+0.200s|
|5||Tijmen van der Helm||Kiwi Motorsport||+0.228s|
|6||Caio Collet||MTEC by R-ace GP||+0.251s|
|7||Gregoire Saucy||Giles Motorsport||+0.286s|
|8||Lucas Petersson||MTEC by R-ace GP||+0.321s|
|9||Petr Ptacek||MTEC by R-ace GP||+0.331s|
|10||Jackson Walls||MTEC by R-ace GP||+0.444s|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||M2 Competition||+0.454s|
|12||Oliver Rasmussen||MTEC by R-ace GP||+0.469s|
|13||Ido Cohen||M2 Competition||+0.495s|
|14||Emilien Denner||M2 Competition||+0.514s|
|15||Henning Enqvist||Giles Motorsport||+0.588s|
|16||Lirim Zendeli||Giles Motorsport||+0.660s|
|17||Axel Gnos||Kiwi Motorsport||+0.732s|
|18||Rui Andrade||M2 Competition||+0.789s|
|19||Kenny Smith||Giles Motorsport||+1.433s|