GP3 Series Media

Rookie Tom Dillmann took a last gasp pole position for Carlin at Istanbul Park by just 0.029 seconds.

The first qualifying session of the season got underway in Istanbul in bright and sunny conditions, and after yesterday’s second practice session it was impossible to tell who would come out on top. All thirty cars hit the track as soon as the lights turned green, with Valtteri Bottas, Antonio Felix Da Costa and Alexander Sims swapping best times.

After setting the second quickest time in the first half of the session, yesterday’s quickest man Nigel Melker was one of the first to stop for new tyres with just ten minutes left on the session. The Dutchman went top with a 1:45.541 laptime, with Bottas hot on his tail – the Finn was visibly pushing hard all session.

With most of the drivers now on new rubber, the session came alive. Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims moved up in to second with Dillmann in third, ahead of Bottas. With just minutes left on the clock RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Michael Christensen, Addax Team’s Dean Smith and MW Arden’s Williamson were both on hot laps. Christensen moved up into second, with Smith third, but it Williamson who put himself top, and the Brit’s teammate Mitch Evans followed suit, moving into third.

With the end of the session in sight Bottas was setting purple sectors and looked set to go top, but the Finn just couldn’t find enough time in the final sector. Sims briefly went to the top of the timesheet, but it was Frenchman Dillmann who put together the perfect 1:45.391 lap and will start this afternoon’s race from the front row. Lining up behind the Carlin driver is Sims, Williamson, Caldarelli, Melker and Bottas.

The GP3 Series will be back on track this afternoon at 17:20 (local time) for Race 1.

Full qualifying times:

POS NO DRIVER ENTRANT TIME LAPS GAP

1

15

T. DILLMANN Carlin 1:45.391

14

 

2

4

A. SIMS Status Grand Prix 1:45.420

13

0.029

3

28

L. WILLIAMSON MW Arden 1:45.529

13

0.138

4

18

A. CALDARELLI Tech 1 Racing 1:45.534

13

0.143

5

31

N. MELKER RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:45.541

12

0.150

6

2

V. BOTTAS Lotus ART 1:45.624

15

0.233

7

3

J. CALADO Lotus ART 1:45.641

15

0.250

8

30

M. CHRISTENSEN RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:45.652

11

0.261

9

26

M. EVANS MW Arden 1:45.668

14

0.277

10

7

N. MULLER Jenzer Motorsport 1:45.672

13

0.281

11

5

A. FELIX DA COSTA Status Grand Prix 1:45.702

12

0.311

12

25

D. SMITH Addax Team 1:45.773

12

0.382

13

11

R. HARYANTO Marussia Manor Racing 1:45.825

15

0.434

14

27

S. TRUMMER MW Arden 1:45.955

13

0.564

15

24

G. CHAVES Addax Team 1:45.963

13

0.572

16

10

A. QUAIFE-HOBBS Marussia Manor Racing 1:45.977

15

0.586

17

20

M. STOCKINGER Atech CRS GP 1:45.071

14

0.680

18

23

D. STOREY Addax Team 1:46.071

14

0.727

19

21

N. YELLOLY Atech CRS GP 1:46.118

13

0.802

20

1

P. NUNES Lotus ART 1:46.193

14

0.802

21

29

L. BACHETA RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:46.193

10

0.836

22

22

Z. AMBERG Atech CRS GP 1:46.227

12

0.868

23

6

I. LUKASHEVICH Status Grand Prix 1:46.259

15

0.885

24

19

T. PAL KISS Tech 1 Racing 1:46.276

12

0.935

25

12

M. LAINE Marussia Manor Racing 1:46.326

13

0.948

26

9

V. GHIRELLI Jenzer Motorsport 1:46.339

14

1.013

27

8

M. ZIMIN Jenzer Motorsport 1:46.404

15

1.098

28

16

L. CORDEIRO Carlin 1:46.489

14

1.280

29

14

C. DALY Carlin 1:46.671

15

1.297

30

17

A.    VAINIO Tech 1 Racing 1:45.391

14

0.029