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F3 - Zhou claims his maiden FIA Formula 3 European Championship pole position

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Race of Zandvoort - Qualifying 1

Nobody was faster than Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing, 1m28.861s) in first qualifying of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The Chinese was the only driver to post a lap time below 1m29s at the 4.307 kilometres long ex-Formula 1 circuit on the Dutch North Sea coast. Ralf Aron (PREMA Theodore Racing, 1m29.004s) was classified second from Mick Schumacher (PREMA Theodore Racing, 1m29.075s) and points’ leader (PREMA Theodore Racing, 1m29.123s).

For Guanyu Zhou, first qualifying at Zandvoort was a near-perfect affair. With around five minutes remaining, he moved up to the top of the timing screens and remained there until the end of the session. For the 18-year-old member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, this is his maiden fastest qualifying time in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, having already scored his maiden race win at Pau in the south of France in mid-May.

Three of Zhou’s teammates were next up: Ralf Aron claimed second place from Mick Schumacher and Marcus Armstrong. Classified fourth, the New Zealander also is the best-placed rookie in the field. Daniel Ticktum (Motopark, 1m29.178s), who is trailing Armstrong in the drivers’ standings by only one point, secured fifth place in qualifying from the two rookie drivers Jonathan Aberdein (Motopark, 1m29.334s) and Robert Shvartzman (PREMA Theodore Racing, 1m29.382s). For Alex Palou (Hitech Bullfrog GP, 1m29.407s), his personal best time at the track in the dunes was enough to seal eighth place from Jüri Vips (Motopark, 1m29.473s) and Ben Hingeley (Hitech Bullfrog GP, 1m29.483s).

17-year-old Sophia Flörsch (Van Amersfoort Racing, 1m30.853s), the only lady racer in the field, ended up 23rd in her first outing in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

Guanyu Zhou (PREMA Theodore Racing): “At Zandvoort, qualifying is never easy, but at a track like this, being up front in qualifying is the most important goal. The track has many high-speed corners, in which you need a lot of confidence in your car. My team has done an excellent job. I am very happy with my maiden Formula 3 pole position and I hope to make use of it in the race.”