French driver Arthur Pic claimed pole position for the MRF Challenge – the support race for the Indian Grand Prix.
The 19-car grid for the Indian GP support race features drivers like GP3 winner Tio Ellinas, Formula Renault 3.5 winner Arthur Pic (brother of Caterham F1 driver Charles Pic) and Sam Brabham – son of David and grandson of triple F1 world champion Jack Brabham. The Indian contingent is led by Parth Ghorpade, apart from MRF Formula 1600 champion Ashwin Sundar and runner-up Vikash Anand.
The series uses Dallara’s Formula 3 spec F308 chassis powered by a two-litre, 210bhp Renault engine.
Pic showed strong pace on his debut outing at the Buddh International Circuit early on as he topped the timesheets in morning practice, and carried his pace into the afternoon qualifying session despite tough competition from Tio Ellinas and Harry Tincknell.
Ultimately the trio finished the session in the same order, covered by just over a tenth of a second.
Amongst the Indian drivers, Parth Ghorpade emerged the quickest – qualifying tenth on the grid, 1.4 seconds off the pace. Ashwin Sundar and Vikash Anand qualified 15th and 17th respectively.
2013 MRF Challenge qualifying results
1 Arthur Pic 1m55.684s
2 Tio Ellinas +0.061s
3 Harry Tincknell +0.168s
4 Sam Dejonghe +0.397s
5 Yudai Jinkawa +0.898s