Lotus driver Rene Binder claimed pole for the final ever World Series Formula V8 3.5 race in Bahrain, while championship protagonists Pietro Fittipaldi and Matevos Isaakyan could only manage third and sixth fastest.
Binder topped the times halfway through the 30 minute session, his 1m44.730s lap time knocking AVF debutant Henrique Chaves off of the top spot. The lap time, three tenths of a second quicker than Chaves’s, earned Binder his second ever pole position in the championship, having earned his first in Austin in September.
Lotus team-mate Fittipaldi narrowly missed out on the front row of the grid. After a track limits penalty dropped him to fourth on the grid for race one, the championship leader finished the final qualifying of the year 0.1s slower than Chaves, this time missing out on the front row purely on pace.
His main title rival, SMP Racing by AVF driver Isaakyan, could only manage sixth fastest and will line up behind Alfonso Celis and Diego Menchaca.
Konstantin Tereshchenko will start tomorrow?s race from seventh, ahead of RP Motorsport?s Yu Kanamaru, Tatiana Calderon and Roy Nissany.
Five drivers go into the first race of the weekend in title contention, with Fittipaldi leading Isaakyan, Celis, Binder and Nissany.
Qualifying 2 results
1 Rene Binder Lotus 1m44.730s
2 Henrique Chaves AVF +0.331s
3 Pietro Fittipaldi Lotus +0.421s
4 Diego Menchaca Fortec +0.729s
5 Alfonso Celis Fortec +0.735s
6 Matevos Isaakyan SMP Racing by AVF +0.884s
7 Konstantin Tereshchenko SMP Racing by AVF +1.084s
8 Yu Kanamaru RP Motorsport +1.175s
9 Tatiana Calderon RP Motorsport +1.471s
10 Roy Nissany RP Motorsport +1.552s