Cypriot Tio Ellinas secured pole position at round two of the MRF Challenge 2013 at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Bahrain, running as a support race for the season finale of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Earlier in the practice sessions, it was Belgian Sam Dejonghe and Frenchman Arthur Pic who dominated the proceedings but come qualifying, Ellinas was untouchable as he set a benchmark of 2:02:960 to cement his pole position - being the only man to lap below the 2:03 mark.
Frenchman Arthur Pic, who is leading the championship after the opening round at Buddh International Circuit, qualified second with Briton Rupert Svendsen-Cook in third place.
Pole sitter Ellinas commented, "It was a good session - we used the practice sessions to find the right balance and it worked well in qualifying. I did my fastest laps in succession and am confident going into to the race tomorrow.
"Getting pole here is very important so I will try to use this to my advantage at the start."
The Indian challengers had a tough day with Parth Ghorpade and Raj Bharath both suffering from mechanical problems. While Parth suffered a drive-shaft failure in qualifying, Bharath managed to get in a total of five laps the whole day after his car gave trouble. Ghorpade will start from 13th on the grid with Bharath and Vikash Anand further back.
MRF Challenge 2013
Round 2, Bahrain International Circuit
Tio Ellinas 2:02.960
Arthur Pic 2:03.324
Rupert Svendsen-Cook 2:03.551