Home Featured Marti claims F3 pole at a drying Spa, points leader Bortoleto only 15th

Marti claims F3 pole at a drying Spa, points leader Bortoleto only 15th

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Campos Racing’s Pepe Marti boosted his title hopes with FIA Formula 3 pole at drying Spa-Francorchamps, while championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto was only 15th fastest.

Despite the sun shining, the start of qualifying was delayed five minutes to allow for a blower tractor to move the standing water at the Eau Rouge-Raidillon section.

ART Grand Prix’s Gregoire Saucy was the first to set a competitive laptime, a 2m26.165s. Meanwhile his team-mate Kaylen Frederick and MP Motorsport’s Mari Boya briefly brought out yellow flags as they went off at the end of sector two.

Frederik lowed Saucy’s benchmark by one tenth of a second the following lap, but he would not last long on top of the times.

The amount of water on track decreased and drivers soon improved their laptimes. Marti went fastest, but his effort of 2m25.604s was deleted for exceeding track limits.

Trident’s Bortoleto moved to the top halfway through qualifying as all other drivers headed back into the pitlane. Bortoleto bettered Van Amersfoort Racing’s Caio Collet, who previously held the fastest lap, by over half a second.

The track continued to dry out in the second half of qualifying, which meant drivers were able to go considerably faster on their second set of grooved tyres.

Saucy was fastest after the first timed lap of the second runs, with a 2m23.345s. All three Prema drivers then bettered him, with Zak O’Sullivan leading Dino Beganovic and Paul Aron.

However, there was time for one more lap and Marti made the most of out of it. The Spaniard claimed pole (and moved into second in the championship standings) ahead of Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli and Hitech GP’s Gabriele Mini. O’Sullivan, who was Bortoleto’s closest rival coming into the weekend, qualified seventh.

Campos’s Hugh Barter will start Saturday’s sprint race from reversed-grid pole with Aron alongside him, after qualifying in 12th and 11th place respectively.

A mechanical failure prevented Oliver Goethe from taking part in the second half of the session. The Trident driver was in eighth after the first runs, but by not going back out he dropped all the way down to 27th.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps
1 Pepe Marti Campos Racing 2m22.160s 10
2 Leonardo Fornaroli Trident 2m22.176s +0.016s 10
3 Gabriele Mini Hitech GP 2m22.254s +0.096s 9
4 Franco Colapinto MP Motorsport 2m22.402s +0.242s 9
5 Nikola Tsolov ART Grand Prix 2m22.517s +0.357s 10
6 Zak O’Sullivan Prema 2m22.551s +0.391s 10
7 Dino Beganovic Prema 2m22.722s +0.562s 10
8 Jonny Edgar Trident 2m22.739s +0.579s 9
9 Caio Collet Van Amersfoort Racing 2m22.792s +0.632s 9
10 Taylor Barnard Jenzer Motorsport 2m22.816s +0.656s 10
11 Paul Aron Prema 2m22.942s +0.782s 10
12 Hugh Barter Campos Racing 2m23.104s +0.944s 9
13 Luke Browning Hitech GP 2m23.143s +0.983s 9
14 Mari Boya MP Motorsport 2m23.175s +1.015s 9
15 Gabriel Bortoleto Trident 2m23.251s +1.091s 11
16 Gregoire Saucy ART Grand Prix 2m23.345s +1.185s 10
17 Kaylen Frederick ART Grand Prix 2m23.435s +1.275s 11
18 Nikita Bedrin Jenzer Motorsport 2m23.914s +1.754s 9
19 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 2m23.945s +1.785s 9
20 Tommy Smith Van Amersfoort Racing 2m23.975s +1.815s 9
21 Sebastian Montoya Hitech GP 2m24.006s +1.846s 9
22 Alex Garcia Jenzer Motorsport 2m24.276s +2.116s 10
23 Christian Mansell Campos Racing 2m24.334s +2.174s 10
24 Sophia Floersch PHM by Charouz 2m24.952s +2.792s 9
25 Ollie Gray Carlin 2m25.019s +2.776s 10
26 Ido Cohen Carlin 2m25.732s +3.572s 10
27 Oliver Goethe Trident 2m26.138s +3.978s 5
28 Michael Shin PHM by Charouz 2m26.320s +4.160s 9
29 Francesco Simonazzi Carlin 2m26.367s +4.207s 10
30 Roberto Faria PHM by Charouz 2m26.810s +4.650s 9