Mitch Evans (MW Arden)

MW Arden’s Mitch Evans flies to pole for Series decider in Italy

Mitch Evans has one hand on the GP3 Series championship trophy after flying to pole position in Qualifying today for Round 8 of the 2012 season. Series rival Antonio Felix Da Costa (Carlin) was just 0.020s shy of the New Zealander with David Fumanelli of MW Arden in third.

Gorgeous weather set the scene in the Monza paddock ahead of GP3 Qualifying on the day where the GP3 Series crown can be clinched. There was a flurry of action in the pitlane as the drivers ventured onto the circuit to set their installation laps and then the pace intensified. Tio Ellinas was first to set a hot lap, with Evans and William Buller also topping the timesheets in the early part of the 30 minute session.

Kevin Ceccon (Ocean Racing Technology) damaged his front wing when contact was made with the back of Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport). At the midway point of qualifying, Felix Da Costa posted the fastest time with Ellinas and Buller close in pursuit. With four minutes remaining on the clock, the Series leader went quickest by seven tenths of second, showing he meant business in his fight to pocket the extra four points on offer for the coveted pole position.

But Felix Da Costa wasn’t ready to let the MW Arden ace have it all his own way and went P2, nearly matching the New Zealander’s best efforts. The top two in the championship will start from the front row together in the season finale, with all eyes on becoming GP3 Series Champion.

Fumanelli in front of his home supporters, claimed P3, one of his best qualifying sessions of the year, ahead of teammate Matias Laine and Ellinas. Tamas Pal Kiss finished P6 but has a ten place grid penalty after practice, therefore he will drop to P16. Buller, Daniel Abt, Conor Daly and Niederhauser rounded out the top ten.

Race 1 takes place at 17.20 CET later today where Evans can become Champion this afternoon if he finishes first or second as he has a 25.5 points advantage over Felix Da Costa, make sure you don’t miss it!

Qualifying – Monza

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Mitch Evans MW Arden 1:43.542

14

2. Antonio Felix Da Costa Carlin 1:43.562

15

3. David Fumanelli MW Arden 1:43.897

15

4. Matias Laine MW Arden 1:43.903

14

5. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:44.105

14

6. Tamas Pal Kiss* Atech CRS GP 1:44.186

14

7. William Buller Carlin 1:44.273

14

8. Daniel Abt Lotus GP 1:44.371

14

9. Conor Daly Lotus GP 1:44.433

14

10. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:44.452

13

11. Giovanni Venturini Trident Racing 1:44.516

14

12. Robert Visoiu Jenzer Motorsport 1:44.600

13

13. Aaro Vainio Lotus GP 1:44.668

14

14. Dmitry Suranovich Marussia Manor Racing 1:44.860

14

15. Robert Cregan Ocean Racing Technology 1:44.903

14

16. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:44.943

14

17. Lewis Williamson Status Grand Prix 1:44.960

14

18. Fabiano Machado Marussia Manor Racing 1:45.030

15

19. Alex Brundle Carlin 1:45.056

14

20. John Wartique Atech CRS GP 1:45.165

14

21. Kevin Ceccon Ocean Racing Technology 1:45.213

14

22. Alice Powell Status Grand Prix 1:45.303

15

23. Vicky Piria Trident Racing 1:45.659

14

24. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS GP 1:46.911

14

25. Carmen Jorda Ocean Racing Technology 1:49.400

12

*10 place grid penalty