Pic on pole-position at Silverstone
4 July 2009 – The Formula Renault 3.5 Series SuperPole once again went down to the wire. It looked as though James Walker (P1 Motorsport) was going to be the pole-sitter in front of the British crowd, but it was Charles Pic (Tech 1 Racing) who grabbed his second pole position of the season at the wire. Brendon Hartley (Tech 1 Racing) came third to round off an impressive performance by Tech 1 Racing.
The Group A drivers started the morning's qualifying, with a good crowd of spectators already with us at Silverstone. From the off, Oliver Turvey (Carlin Motorsport) and James Walker were the first drivers in action, occupying the top slots on the timing screens. The two British drivers dominated the first part of the session, before pitting to fit new rubber, along with the rest of the pack.
Jaime Alguersuari (Carlin Motorsport) kicked off a wave of improvements and set the fastest time of 1'34''018. James Walker reacted and improved the time with a 1'33''697 lap. Adrian Valles (Epsilon Euskadi) and Greg Mansell (Ultimate Motorsport) put in good times too towards the end of the session. Valles went 3rd, slotting in between Jaime Alguersuari and Marcos Martinez (Pons Racing), while Mansell took 6th position, just behind Oliver Turvey. In so doing, Greg Mansell got himself a seat in the SuperPole for the first time this season.
In Group B, Fairuz Fauzy (Mofaz Fortec Motorsport), Bertrand Baguette (International Draco Racing), Marco Barba (International Draco Racing) and Charles Pic were the pace-setters of the first part of the session. Before pitting for new rubber, Fairuz Fauzy was ahead with 1'34''493, followed by Charles Pic.
Brendon Hartley and Daniil Move (P1 Motorsport) were first to improve on the new tires. Hartley took best provisional time of 1'33''954 ahead of Move, just as the session was interrupted when Chris Van der Drift (Epsilon Euskadi) crashed off. Qualifying then resumed for another three minutes. Brendon Hartley and Daniil Move opted to stay in the pits. Marco Barba's off-track excursion hampered progress for the other drivers. So Hartley and Move held onto their top two places ahead of Fairuz Fauzy and Marco Barba. Charles Pic and Bertrand Baguette got through to SuperPole. Jon Lancaster and Miguel Molina, in 7th and 8th, did not.
British driver Oliver Turvey was the first to put in a fast lap time in the SuperPole session, but along with all the drivers, he returned to the pits after a reconnaissance lap with used tires. With everyone now on new rubber, the final assault of the morning could commence. James Walker started pushing and took provisional pole with a 1'35''377 lap, only to see Greg Mansell go under in 1'34''642. But James Walker put in another faster lap at his second attempt, snatching back first position with 1'33''120. Charles Pic went on to improve this time on his last flying lap. The Frenchman claimed his second pole of the season with 1'33''073. His team-mate turned heads again too, Brendon Hartley finishing in third position, behind James Walker and ahead of Oliver Turvey.