Victor Martins will start from P1 for the second time in the space of a week. The Frenchman was the man to beat once again in Qualifying, setting a 1:39.832 to secure the top spot around Silverstone. Kush Maini made a late improvement to jump up to P2 for Campos Racing late on, while Ayumu Iwasa moved himself into third with his final effort.
Practice pacesetter Iwasa was quick to set the early benchmark with a 1:41.100, matched exactly by his teammate Arthur Leclerc to the thousandth.
This was swiftly beaten in quick succession as the Japanese driver dropped to the tail end of the top 10, before Martins put himself top of the timing sheets. His 1:40.576 was over a tenth clear of second placed Richard Verschoor.
The first of two Red Flags came at the 19-minute mark after Amaury Cordeel spun off into the barriers at Copse.
After the #15 Invicta Virtuosi Racing car had been recovered, a short green flag spell was broken up by the second Red Flag but running resumed with eight minutes of the session remaining.
The curtailed session meant there were quickfire improvements throughout the field. Iwasa returned to the top spot for a matter of seconds before Oliver Bearman shot up to P1, until he himself was quickly displaced by Martins. Maini hadn’t been near pole until going second for Campos in the final minutes, improving to within 0.113s of the leader.
There was time for one final effort but only Iwasa could improve after Championship leader Frederik Vesti came to a halt in the first sector, bringing out the yellow flags. The Japanese driver moved himself into the top three but couldn’t displace Martins from P1.
Jack Doohan finished up fourth for Invicta Virtuosi Racing ahead of Bearman in P5. Enzo Fittipaldi headed up the Rodin Carlin charge in sixth ahead of teammate Zane Maloney in P7 after both made late improvements to break into the top 10. Theo Pourchaire was eighth ahead of Isack Hadjar and title rival Vesti.
The Dane will get Saturday’s Sprint Race underway from reverse grid pole when the lights go out at 13:15 local time.