Ameya Vaidyanathan has secured a dominant pole position ahead of the final race of the 2017 Euroformula Open Championship season in Barcelona. The Carlin racer, an impressive contender throughout the 30 minute shoot out, put in a fantastic lap right at the very end to claim his first pole position following a red flag disrupted session at the Circuit de Catalunya. Team mate, and yesterday’s race winner, Devlin DeFrancesco will start the season finale from sixth on the grid while Guilherme Samaia will line up in 16th.
For the final qualifying session of the 2017 Euroformula Open season the tension was palpable as the 30 minute shoot out got under way earlier in the day and in slightly cooler conditions compared to yesterday. Taking to the track quickly as the session went green the three Carlin drivers set about getting their first timed laps on the board. After the opening ten minutes on their first set of tyres Vaidyanathan was in third, DeFrancesco 11th and Samaia 17th.
However a spin for Tarun Reddy brought the session to a complete halt as the Drivex School racer was stranded on track. A red flag was shown to deal with the incident before the Indian racer was able to get moving again. By this point all drivers were in the pits, changing to their second set of tyres and ready for their final runs. But despite the track going green once again the field remained in the pit lane and waited until just nine minutes showed on the clock; at which point the mass exodus began and the field started on their final laps.
A couple of minutes later, and with the tyres sufficiently warmed, the fast lap times really began to appear. From the off, Vaidyanathan was looking a likely contender – setting a purple sector and briefly sitting on provisional pole position. However he was challenged by yesterday’s pole sitter Felipe Drugovich and Nikita Troitskiy who were both looking to wrap up the final pole position of the season.
The three -way fight continued in tense fashion until the very end however as the flag fell it was Vaidyanathan who brilliantly improved once again – setting a fantastic lap which couldn’t be bettered to take his first pole position in the Euroformula Open Championship. Already a race winner this season, Vaidyanathan will start the 2017 season finale from the very front of the grid as he looks to go one better than his second place podium finish from yesterday afternoon.
Yesterday’s race winner DeFrancesco will start the last race of the year from sixth position while Brazilian racer Samaia will line up in sixteenth with both Carlin drivers looking to replicate their fast race starts seen yesterday.
Pole sitter Vaidyanathan said, “It feels really awesome to get pole position this morning for the final race of the season – especially after our podium yesterday too. We were going in to the unknown a little bit given how early we were running the session however I felt confident with the car and in myself so just went out there an maximised what we had.”
The final race of the season gets under way in Barcelona at 13.15 local time.