Carlin’s Carlos Huertas will start on the front row of the grid for the second race of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series weekend in Motorland after a brilliant last minute lap in qualifying. A strong performance from the Colombian in the pouring rain saw him put his car second on the grid in the challenging wet conditions. Team mate Jazeman Jaafar saw his fortune reversed following a spin early on in the session, he will start 23rd.

Sunday morning brought news to the teams that the qualifying session and second race of the weekend would be a shortened affair due to engine problems discovered with the Formula Renault 3.5 cars up and down the field. With just 15 minutes time on track and the rain falling it became important to get out and set a lap time fast. As the cars hit the track the awful conditions quickly became apparent and a multitude of cars slid off and struggled with the lack of grip.

Unfortunately, Jaafar was an early victim of the weather with the young Malaysian spinning and stopping on track. As the time counted down, the conditions continued to deteriorate with a total of four red flags disrupting the session.

Meanwhile Huertas had been steadily learning the track limits and getting up to speed, lying sixth for the majority of running. However in the final minutes Huertas set a brilliant lap to place him second on the grid for the second race this afternoon.

Reflecting on qualifying he said, ‘It was really tough out there; a lot of water on track and very disrupted because of the red flags. You couldn’t see much at all down the straights which was tricky. It was basically a one lap qualifying session; I had to find the gap and get a good lap. I’m pleased with where I qualified and now look ahead to the race this afternoon – but again it will be all about dealing with the conditions!’

Team manager Ricky Taylor added, ‘The rain made qualifying so difficult for everybody out there this morning. Carlos did a really good job to deal with the conditions and get a lap in when it mattered despite the red flags. He kept the car on track and drove well. Jazeman was unlucky to get caught out but that’s what racing in the wet it like – it happens.’