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F2: Logan Sargeant seals late Paul Ricard pole by fractions over Iwasa

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Carlin’s Logan Sargeant continued his strong run of form with pole position at Le Castellet, beating Ayumu Iwasa by just 0.006s. The American pipped both Iwasa and ART Grand Prix’s Frederik Vesti by a slender margin, with the top three separated by just 0.029s.

Jack Doohan and Iwasa had traded provisional pole following the first and second runs respectively, but there was time for another twist in the final five minutes. A red flag stoppage for Dennis Hauger’s stranded PREMA Racing car led to a frantic ending as drivers tried to squeeze in two flying laps.

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With under four minutes left of the session, track position in the final runs led to a long train in the final sector as the clock ticked beneath a minute to go. Iwasa held the top spot provisionally, but the DAMS driver missed the cut-off and took the chequered flag, ending his hopes of a final effort. His rivals had timed it right though and managed to fit in a final attempt.

Vesti improved his time but couldn’t climb further than his P3 position, the final lap narrowly down on Iwasa. Sargeant left it as late as possible and found enough time to put himself top of the pile by just six thousandths of a second.

Felipe Drugovich had finished the session fourth-fastest but lost his best lap time following a post-session investigation for exceeding track limits. It leaves the championship leader sixth on the grid for Sunday’s Feature Race and promotes Doohan up to fourth and title rival Theo Pourchaire into the top five.

Juri Vips, Marcus Armstrong, Liam Lawson and Jehan Daruvala completed the top 10, with the PREMA driver starting Saturday’s Sprint Race from reverse grid pole. The F2 Sprint Race gets underway at 1800 local time.

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