Stutely shines with superb Snetterton pole

30/06/2012 - Enigma Motorsport's Linton Stutely was the star of qualifying as he grabbed pole position in blazing sunshine at the Snetterton 300 circuit.

30/06/2012 - Enigma Motorsport's Linton Stutely was the star of qualifying as he grabbed pole position in blazing sunshine at the Snetterton 300 circuit.

Stutely set the pace from the outset in his Dallara F399 and held provisional pole for the entire session. However, there was plenty of battling behind as the top five swapped places with just fractions of seconds separating the rest of the 16 car pack. In the end, Stutely held on to take pole by a second from championship leader Chris Dittmann and Louis Hamilton Smith.

Poleman Stutely said: "I'm pretty happy with my lap. I didn't intend to do many laps, so to do a couple of quick ones early on was great. The first part of the plan has come good the second part is to get a good start and not lose the lead on the first lap and hold on."

Qualifying conditions were dry for only the second time of the season which allowed both the drivers and the cars to unleash their potential. The session began with Stutely setting the pace early on just ahead Dittmann and Grays Motorsport's Gino Ussi.

The session was interupted by a red flag but it proved to be a short stoppage and the cars soon returned to the track. Stuteley went even quicker on the resumption moving into the 1.46s bracket.

Dittmann continued to impress and he took the fight to Stutely cutting the defeict down in second spot. David Scott, competing in only his second F3 Cup meeting, turned heads by moving into third briefly with Ussi in fourth and Omicron Motorsport's Tristan Cliffe steadily improving in fifth.

The battle for the top six positions intensified with Silverstone race winner Louis Hamilton-Smith slotting into fourth and Mark Harrison claimed sixth before improving into fifth. Hamilton-Smith continued to shine as he snatched second spot from Dittmann, only to be denied by the Tewkesbury racer a minute later.

But in the end, nobody could catch Stutley as he claimed pole position from Dittmann and Hamilton-Smith as the flag dropped. Scott secured fourth and a spot alongside Hamilton-Smith on row two. Harrison and Cliffe made up the third row with Ussi, James Abbott, Robbie Watts and Alf Skeels rounding out the top 10.

Second placed Dittmann was happy with his performance and believes he can challenge for the victory in race one, he said: "I got a few quick laps in early but I knew I still ahd a lot of work to do with this being my first trip to Snetterton. I'm happy with P2. Linton has done a lot of laps around here so he is the man to beat and we have got to keep pushing. There is no point in looking behind we have to push forward."

Silverstone race winner Hamilton-Smith said: "It is good to be first in class but I've just got to do a bit better in the race. Linton is abit ahead but if I can get that second place then that would be great."

The first F3 Cup race at Snrtetrton begins at 17:15.

F3 Cup Qualifying Results

1. Linton Stutely (Trophy) 1.46.558
2. Chris Dittmann (Trophy) +1.068s
3. Louis Hamilton-Smith (Cup) +1.388s
4. David Scott (Cup) +1.968s
5. Mark Harrison (Cup) +1.988s
6. Tristan Cliffe (Cup) +3.247s
7. Gino Ussi (Cup) +3.588s
8. James Abbott (Cup) +3.588
9. Robbie Watts (Cup) +4.039s
10. Alf Skeels (Trophy) +4.485s
11. Stuart Wiltshire (Cup) +4.931s
12. Chris Needham (Cup) +5.726s
13. Prajesh Shah (Cup) +6.992s
14. Tony Bishop (Cup) +8.035s
15. Nick Robinson (Cup) +8.341s
16. Russ Giles (Cup) +12.599s