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F3: Fornaroli edges out Mini to take pole in Melbourne

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 22: Pole position qualifier Leonardo Fornaroli of Italy and Trident

Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli left it late in an action-packed F3 qualifying session in Melbourne to take pole position, outlasting PREMA Racing’s Gabriele Mini for top spot.

The Italian pair had exchanged fastest times throughout proceedings but a red flag, caused by Fornaroli’s team mate Sami Meguetounif crashing into the barrier at the final corner, set the field up for one final attempt in the battle for pole.

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Fornaroli then crossed the line to complete a lap of 1m 33.044s, while Mini – who had been on provisional pole – could only come within 0.019s off his rival’s fastest time.

Mini’s PREMA team mate, Dino Beganovic, also left it late to go up to third, the Ferrari Driver Academy member sealing a second row start alongside PHM AIX Racing’s Nikita Bedrin.

Williams Academy Driver and championship leader Luke Browning qualified fifth ahead of Alpine Academy prospect Nikola Tsolov for ART Grand Prix.

Bahrain Sprint Race winner Arvid Lindblad made it three PREMA cars in the top 10 as he qualified seventh, just ahead of his fellow Red Bull junior Oliver Goethe.

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ART’s home favourite Christian Mansell placed ninth while Hitech Pulse-Eight’s rookie Martinius Stenshorne rounded out the top 10.

Having qualified 12th, Mari Boya will line up in P1 for Saturday’s Sprint Race for Campos Racing with ART’s Laurens Van Hoepen joining him on the front row.

For a full in-depth report of the FIA Formula 3 qualifying session, visit the official championship website.

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