Bart Horsten took his first pole positions in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship as the season visits the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps this weekend (23-25 July).
The Hitech GP driver found a buffer of four hundredths back to Championship leader Zak O’Sullivan, whose Carlin team-mate, and Horsten’s compatriot, Christian Mansell sat just under two tenths behind in third.
To date, only Mansell, Frederick Lubin (Arden Motorsport) and Oliver Bearman (Fortec Motorsports) have finished every race they’ve started so far this season.
Of those three, only Mansell’s season has been uninterrupted thus far, with Lubin ruled out of Donington Park and Spa on medical grounds, while Bearman splits his time across Italian F4 and ADAC F4, currently leading both championships.
O’Sullivan had topped the times for most of the 25-minute session, before Horsten snatched it at the death by less than half a tenth around the longest lap of the season.
Bilinski impressed on his British F3 debut weekend at Donington, and put in an equally-impressive lap to take fourth for Races 1 and 2 on Saturday.
O’Sullivan’s closest title challenger, Hitech’s Reece Ushijima, sat fifth as he looks to get his season back on track after two retirements in Leicestershire last time out.
However, he will be hampered by a five-place grid penalty for the second of those incidents, with O’Sullivan in Race 3. That penalty will be applied for Race 1 on Saturday morning.
The Elite Motorsport trio of Tom Lebbon, Javier Sagrera and José Garfias filled sixth through eighth, with Lebbon taking third in Race 3 at Donington and Sagrera setting the fastest race lap of the weekend in the same race.
Garfias’ compatriot Sebastian Alvarez (Hitech) was ninth, ahead of Bryce Aron (Carlin) and Ayrton Simmons (Chris Dittmann Racing).
Simmons split the two American drivers on the grid this weekend, with 2020 US Formula 4 champion Hunter Yeany filling Bearman’s place at Fortec this weekend.
The 16-year-old ran as high as seventh on his first competitive outing in Europe, having previously tested with British F3 outfits while running a dual campaign Stateside between Indy Pro 2000 and Formula Regional Americas.
Impressively, he was the fastest Fortec car on Friday evening in the Ardennes Forest, with team-mates Roberto Faria and Donington Race 3 winner Mikkel Grundtvig 13th and 14th respectively.
Reema Juffali lines up 15th for Douglas Motorsport, the sole entrant in the series this weekend as Dexter Patterson tries out in the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine with Monolite Racing.
Max Marzorati narrowly missed out on a maiden British F3 win in Race 3 at Donington, but took his first podium in the Championship with second place, and lines up 16th for Race 1.
The top four remain the same for Race 2, with Horsten, O’Sullivan, Mansell and Bilinski’s second-fastest times placing them at the sharp end again for Saturday afternoon.
2021 Spa-Francorchamps Qualifying Results:
|1||50||Bart Horsten||AUS||Hitech GP||2:19.311|
|4||4||Roman Bilinski||POL||Arden Motorsport||+0.234|
|5||13||Reece Ushijima||JPN||Hitech GP||+0.320|
|6||34||Tom Lebbon||GBR||Elite Motorsport||+0.461|
|7||3||Javier Sagrera||ESP||Elite Motorsport||+0.526|
|8||99||Jose Garfias||MEX||Elite Motorsport||+0.595|
|9||12||Sebastian Alvarez||MEX||Hitech GP||+0.606|
|11||18||Ayrton Simmons||GBR||Chris Dittmann Racing||+0.994|
|12||8||Hunter Yeany||USA||Fortec Motorsports||+0.997|
|13||7||Roberto Faria||BRA||Fortec Motorsports||+1.371|
|14||43||Mikkel Grundtvig||DEN||Fortec Motorsports||+2.286|
|15||10||Reema Juffali||SAU||Douglas Motorsport||+2.545|
|16||81||Max Marzorati||GBR||Chris Dittmann Racing||+3.184|