Max ChiltonMax Chilton took a dominant pole position in Portimao today, ahead of round 18 of the 2009 British F3 International Series. The Carlin racer took provisional pole on his first flying lap this afternoon only to go quicker again and seal his fourth pole position of the season. Championship leader Daniel Ricciardo was also on the pace to qualify second, making it a Volkswagen powered Carlin front row lock out.

Having set the second quickest time in first qualifying, Chilton was one to watch as the drivers took to the track to set the grid for race two tomorrow. As the session got underway, it was the visiting F3 Euro Series drivers that held the top of the timesheets, but Chilton immediately showed his true speed, setting the quickest time on his first flying lap and pushing the F3 Euro Series racers down the order. Chilton went even quicker on his next lap to confirm his position at the top of the time sheets.

One of the last to leave the pits, Ricciardo was also immediately on the pace with his first flying lap putting his second only to Chilton. A red flag with only four and half minutes to go disrupted proceedings, but once the session went live again Ricciardo couldn’t match Chilton’s time.

Philip Major meanwhile couldn’t quite replicate his position in the first qualifying session and will line up 10th in the British F3 International Class, with team mate Henry Arundel just behind in 11th. Carlin’s new National Class driver Joe Ghanem repeated his first qualifying performance to take a competitive third place on the National Class grid for race two tomorrow.

Race two pole sitter Chilton said, “I was so pleased with that session; the car felt very good and I think I really got everything together on my best lap. It was a really good feeling. We’re in a great position now for the races, with two opportunities to go for a race win, so I’m feeling confident about some strong results tomorrow.”

Team principal Trevor Carlin added, “Max delivered his best performance of the season today, he totally outclassed the field and even Daniel struggled to match him in the second session. Daniel is of course in a great position ahead of tomorrow’s races where the championship is clearly his focus. The team have done a great job so far.”