Will Macintyre snatched race three pole position from Gabriel Stilp in the final moments of qualifying for British Formula 4 at Thruxton.
Macintyre was one of the final drivers to take the chequered flag at the end of the session and improved on his earlier time to set a 1m10.699s laptime. It was just 0.004 seconds quicker than rookie and fellow Hitech GP Stilp, and with the top 19 covered by half a second it ended up the closest qualifying session of the season so far.
Aiden Neate spent the majority of qualifying at the top of the order. The Fortec Motorsports driver set a 1m10.709s in the session’s first half which would go unbeaten until drivers were on their final laps, and it was Stilp who knocked him off the top spot. The improvement from Macintyre then dropped Neate back to third.
James Piszcyk also set his fastest lap early on, putting himself provisionally second until the late flying laps dropped him back to fifth place, ahead of Kenato Le and Daniel Guinchard.
Aqil Albibhai improved late on to qualify eighth, ahead of Deagen Fairclough and championship newcomer Mika Abrahams who had to wait for his 15th birthday before being able to debut this weekend.
Isack Barashi was the slowest in the field and will line up on pole for race two.
It was just as close on the second-fastest laptimes setting the grid for race three, and several deleted laps played into how the order was set.
A 1m10.714s as his second-best effort earned Piszcyk the race one pole, and by just 0.008s over Stilp. Macintyre missed out on a double pole by 0.026s, and Le was only 0.042s back in fourth.
The top five was completed by Louis Sharp and he was only 0.074s off the pace, with 0.922s covering the 23-car field.
Race 3 grid
1 William Macintyre Hitech GP 1m10.699s
2 Gabriel Stilp Hitech GP +0.004s
3 Aiden Neate Fortec Motorsports +0.010s
4 James Piszcyk Hitech GP +0.014s
5 Louis Sharp Carlin +0.038s
6 Kanato Le Hitech GP +0.053s
7 Daniel Guinchard Chris Dittmann Racing +0.097s
8 Aqil Alibhai Virtuosi Racing +0.139s
9 Deagen Fairclough JHR Developments +0.148s
10 Mika Abhrahams Fortec Motorsports +0.172s
Race 1 grid
1 Piszcyk 1m10.814s
2 Stilp +0.008s
3 Macintyre +0.026s
4 Le +0.042s
5 Sharp +0.074s
6 Neate +0.136s
7 Abrahams +0.218s
8 Dion Gowda Carlin +0.218s
9 Josh Irfan +0.242s
10 Sonny Smith JHR Developments +0.244s