Trident’s Zane Maloney claimed his maiden Formula 3 pole position during a frantic conclusion to Qualifying at Imola on Friday. On a circuit that was rapidly drying Maloney vaulted to the front of the pecking order with a time of 1:41.180s to register a lap that would not be beaten.

After a drenched and shortened Free Practice session earlier on Friday the rain eased in time for Qualifying, albeit with Wet tyres still required for the field of 29 drivers. They were all eager to lay down a benchmark and top spot exchanged hands on multiple occasions, with purple and green sector times dominating the timesheets.

That came to a juddering halt following a clash between Enzo Trulli and Arthur Leclerc that left the PREMA Racing driver in the gravel at Rivazza 1. The incident brought out the red flags, forcing drivers to return to the pit lane, with only five minutes remaining in the session.

Once it restarted there was a frantic jostle for track position and immediately lap times tumbled due to the rapidly improving track conditions.

After Isack Hadjar and Grégoire Saucy enjoyed spells at the front, it was Maloney who made sure of pole position to grab two bonus points and a clear view for Sunday’s Feature Race.

Roman Staněk slotted into second, 0.107s behind, to make it a 1-2 result for Trident on home soil.

PREMA’s Jak Crawford vaulted into third place with a last-gap lap, inching just 0.001s clear of Saucy, while Oliver Bearman captured fifth, leaving Championship leader Victor Martins in sixth. Hadjar was shuffled down to seventh in the closing laps, with Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan eight, as MP Motorsport duo Caio Collet and Kush Maini rounded out the top 10 positions.

Qualifying determined the starting order for Sunday’s Feature Race but Saturday’s Sprint Race line-up is dictated by the top 12 being reversed. That means the front-row of the grid for the Sprint Race will consist of Franco Colapinto and Ido Cohen, who qualified 12th and 11th respectively.

Formula 3’s Sprint Race is scheduled to begin on Saturday at 10:35am local time.