Championship leader Adrien Simon was restricted to a sole flying lap in qualifying for the Turkish V-Prix as his cars hydraulics failed just ten minutes into the session, but his opening lap was never bettered and he will therefore start on pole position.
Will Hoskins will join him on the front row with the second DS Mathershaw of Olen Inman in third.
AMR have confirmed that Lewis Ellington has been deemed fit to race in Istanbul Park this weekend, following a medical after a hefty crash in Monza involving teammate Felix Beyer and Ingram driver Nikolai Milkovich.
In the aftermath of the Italian V-Prix, it has been announced that Formula Virtual's first ever Polish driver, Alesky Nowosinki, will continue with North Star Racing in the 2017 season.
This means that North Star's lineup will be unchanged for next year, having previously confirmed that Judson Sikes will also remain with the team for next season.
"We are delighted here at North Star to be able to confirm that Alesky Nowosinki will be staying with us next year," Team Principal Nick Forrest told reporters. "We were expecting some strong performances from him when we brought him on board, and he has more than delivered on that. We are really looking forward to seeing what he can do next season, with some experience in the top flight under his belt."
"We had put in place the option of a second year in Alesky's contract," Forrest explained, "And both ourselves and Aleksy were very eager to activate it after the result at Spa, it was just a matter of getting all the paperwork in order. Now that the red tape's been taken care of, we can again focus on chasing down FIRST, and that 11th place in the Constructors' standings."
The Spa result in question was Nowosinki's 14th place in a race of attrition, finishing less than a second behind FIRST's Douglas Bacon. "Wrong tyres, wrong time," he said after the race, running a harder compound than the American attributing to what North Star must consider a missed opportunity.
The Pole was certainly more upbeat when discussing his retention. "It's great to be staying with North Star," he said, "I'm very grateful that they saw something in me, enough to bring me to the grid this year, and more so that they decide to keep me on for a second season. I remember when I first arrived, people weren't expecting much from me, but I like to think I've been able to prove my doubters wrong so far, and I'm hoping to carry on doing that in 2017."
The atmosphere became a little tense when Nowosinki was asked if his teammate was one of those doubters. "I don't know if that's true" he replied, "But he's certainly a very fast driver, and it helps having someone of that caliber alongside you in the garage. I think we can definitely push each other a lot harder next season, and I'm really looking forward to that."
Nowosinki currently sits 23rd in the Drivers' standings, and is one of nine drivers yet to score a point in the 2016 Formula Virtual Season.
In the aftermath of the Italian V-Prix, it is reported that Lopez driver Jochem van Snelheid's actions have breached the contract terms with his team. It was learned that van Snelheid's contract was bought by Lopez from Westwood earlier in the season, as van Snelheid was originally loaned to the Swiss team. Lopez FV Team principal Dylan Lopez refused to comment as more details are set to be revealed in the coming weeks. All he told reporters was the following late on Sunday night:
"We will take all the necessary processes we need to ensure the investigation with Jochem goes smoothly. We are working with the local police here in Milan and with Jochem's management. As it stands he will race in Turkey at the very least."
It has been rumored quietly that Abel Osterhagen could make a return to the FV grid after being demoted to test and reserve driver this season. Others have murmured Viktor Ostberg could make a surprise debut if the findings prove van Snelheid's guilt.
Harry Westwood has released a press statement announcing the team's engine supplier for 2017 - and it's not themselves!
Westwood Racing are now going to be powered by the same Renault power units in the Holmqvist cars for the next 2 seasons. When asked why, Harry had this to say;
"The Westwood power unit has been run for three seasons now, and unfortunately has not been delivering the gains we expected from being able to work the car and engine around eachother. The fact we had no customers as well was a big factor in this decision. We want to help Renault become a great manufacturer and wouldn't be adverse to working closely with Holmqvist over the coming seasons, seeing as though we've been told that Holmqvist signed a two year contract extension to Renault. I'm actually about to make my way over there! Anyway... Will we ever make engines again? Maybe. But for now this is our path. For sure, it will be tough working with the weakest power unit now, but I think it opens up an opportunity for collaboration, which is what this sport is all about. Well, and winning, but we're not very good at that."
He also made time to comment on Nikolajis Christodoulou's performance in Belgium;
"Niko is a fantastic guy and a good driver, he's working hard right now juggling the top and lower divisions but he's doing quite well and I've been quite impressed with him. We elected not to make a big media fuss about him getting into the car as he's already under intense pressure to perform and attention from the press would've compounded that. But he's proven he's no slouch, and we look forward to working with him."
Monza, Italy – FIRST Motorsport has announced that Douglas Bacon will continue to race for the team in 2017. Full details of the press conference are below.
FIRST Motorsport representatives: Adam Blocker, Team Principal/Co-Owner
Seth McCormick, Technical Director
Douglas Bacon, Race Driver