Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum started Round 2 in the 2018 FIA European Formula 3 Championship on a fine note taking his second pole of the year for Race 1, beating HitechGP’s Alex Palou by a mere 0.032s in an ultra-tight session.

Palou traded times at the top with Prema drivers, but it was Motopark’s Ticktum who snatched pole in the end with a time of 1m35.275s displacing the Spaniard to second, who had set a 1m35.307s laptime.

Ferrari junior Guanyu Zhou (1m35.377s) in third led the Prema pack with Mick Schumacher (1m35.412s), Marcus Armstrong (1m35.489s), Robert Shwartzman (1m35.522s) and Ralf Aron (1m35.679s) following the Chinese in a strong qualifying for the Italian outfit.

Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein (1m35.789s) in eighth and Juri Vips (1m36.110s) sandwiched HitechGP’s Enaam Ahmed (1m35.943s) to cover the Top 10, with the leading Carlin of Ferdinand Habsburg (1m36.119s) only in 11th positions.

The Austrian was followed by HitechGP’s Ben Hingeley (1m36.121s) who was in a Carlin sandwich with championship leader Sacha Fenestraz (1m36.177s) in 13th as was Motopark’s Fabio Scherer (1m36.178s) in 14th, who was followed by Force India junior Jehan Daruvala (1m36.187s).

The closely fought session saw the Top 16 covered within a second of Ticktum’s time with Motopark’s Marino Sato (1m36.249s) in 16th. The Japanese driver led his teammate Sebastian Fernandez (1m36.430s), followed by the lead Van Amersfoort Racing car of Keyvan Andres (1m30.530s).

VAR’s second driver Artem Petrov (1m36.641s) was 19th ahead of Carlin’s trio Nikita Troitskiy (1m36.697s), Devlin Defrancesco (1m36.897s) and Ameya Vaidyanathan (1m37.167s) as Ma-con’s Julian Hanses (1m37.178s) and a returning Petru Florescu (1m37.756s) in the Fortec rounding out the Top 24.