Carlin’s Antonio Felix da Costa has taken a great provisional pole position in this afternoon’s qualifying session for the Macau Grand Prix in his Volkswagen powered Dallara Formula Three car. After a fast paced first qualifying session it was the Red Bull Junior driver who came out on top with team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr close behind in third position. Felipe Nasr had another strong session however made slight contact with the wall on his final flying lap to qualify sixth while Daniel Abt, who had been suffering with illness all day, qualified in 11th position. William Buller ended the session in 15th while Jack Harvey qualified 18th after suffering with a steering issue during the session.

Following a strong first practice session this morning, which saw Nasr as the pacesetter, the cars took to the track this afternoon for Qualifying 1 ahead of the Macau Grand Prix. Nasr was once again quick during the opening laps however he had Da Costa and Sainz looking racy behind him as the times fell and the serious battles for position began.

With the time ticking down Sainz and Nasr began swapping places at the top and by the mid-way point it was Spaniard Sainz who had the upper hand while Da Costa was also lying in the top 10 waiting to make his move. Buller meanwhile was also having a solid run, re-familiarising himself with the track and making his way up the time sheets.

For Abt, who had been very feeling unwell all day, the session was a difficult one; however despite his illness he was comfortably running within the top ten before a red flag, following a crash for Andrea Roda, brought proceedings to a stop with just six minutes left on the clock.

As everyone made their way back out on track there was very little time to complete a flying lap. Unfortunately Nasr brushed the wall on his final lap which ended his session prematurely and although he sustained very little damage, the contact ruined his final lap meaning he provisionally lines up in sixth place for Saturday’s qualifying race.

Abt continued to drive well despite feeling ill; qualifying just outside of the top ten in 11th, while Buller, who had also tapped the wall during his final lap, placed his car in 15th position overall. Unfortunately for Harvey a steering problem meant that he was unable to get the most out of his session – provisionally qualifying in 18th.

Having taken provisional pole Da Costa said, ‘It’s obviously really great to get provisional pole but tomorrow is another day where everything could change. The weather could play its part but we’ll just have to take it as it comes.

‘The track got quicker as the session went on and I was able to get my lap in at the end at the perfect time. I feel in tune with the car and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the weekend brings us.’