German rookie Marvin Kirchhöfer enjoyed his first pole position in GP3 and couldn’t have picked a better place to do it than at home in Germany at the Hockenheimring. The impressive ART Grand Prix star edged out Series leader Alex Lynn. Nick Yelloly (Status Grand Prix) completed the top three.
Hot temperatures again greeted Hockenheim for the 27 drivers in the thirty minute qualifying session. Jimmy Eriksson (Koiranen GP) was first to set the pace followed by Patrick Kujala (Marussia Manor Racing) and debutant Mitchell Gilbert (Trident).
Kirchhöfer broke into the 1m29’s, lapping almost half a second quicker than his nearest rival, whilst his ART Grand Prix teammate Dino Zamparelli lit the timing screen purple in the first two sectors but had to back off in the final sector due to a yellow flag from a small spin from Alfonso Celis. Jr.
Carlin’s Lynn flew to the head of the timings, with Zamparelli demoting Kirchhöfer to third. The Red Bull Junior driver then bettered his own personal best to increase his advantage over the pack and looked set to score a third pole position of the season.
But Kirchhöfer had his own plan and was not to be out done in front of his army of passionate fans: clocking the quickest laptime of the session with a 1:28.647 which was a mere 0.059s faster than Lynn. Yelloly also improved to third as the chequered flag was waved to record his best qualifying position of the 2014 season.
Kirchhöfer and Lynn locked out the front row, with Yelloly and Emil Bernstorff starting from the second row. Eriksson qualified in P5, in front of Gilbert – the Australian rookie in only his second race weekend producing a fine effort in sixth for Trident. Zamparelli, Richie Stanaway, Mathéo Tuscher and Dean Stoneman rounded out of the top ten.
Race 1 takes place later today at 16:20 and with record temperatures expected, a thrilling race lies in store as the fight continues to heat up in the Series.
Qualifying – Hockenheim
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Marvin Kirchhöfer ART Grand Prix 1:28.647 14
2. Alex Lynn Carlin 1:28.706 13
3. Nick Yelloly Status Grand Prix 1:28.749 12
4. Emil Bernstorff Carlin 1:28.910 15
5. Jimmy Eriksson* Koiranen GP 1:28.949 14
6. Mitchell Gilbert Trident 1:28.995 13
7. Dino Zamparelli ART Grand Prix 1:29.133 13
8. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:29.205 13
9. Mathéo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1:29.212 13
10. Dean Stoneman Marussia Manor Racing 1:29.247 13
11. Alex Fontana* ART Grand Prix 1:29.329 14
12. Roman De Beer Trident 1:29.338 15
13. Robert Visoiu Arden International 1:29.400 14
14. Jann Mardenborough Arden International 1:29.405 13
15. Riccardo Agostini Hilmer Motorsport 1:29.516 13
16. Alfonso Celis. Jr Status Grand Prix 1:29.531 11
17. Patric Niederhauser Arden International 1:29.672 13
18. Sebastian Balthasar Hilmer Motorsport 1:29.849 17
19 Pal Varhaug* Jenzer Motorsport 1:29.870 15
20. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1:29.951 12
21. Nelson Mason Hilmer Motorsport 1:30.082 16
22. Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing 1:30.180 15
23. Patrick Kujala Marussia Manor Racing 1:30.272 8
24. Adderly Fong Jenzer Motorsport 1:30.646 13
25. Santiago Urrutia Koiranen GP 1:30.977 14
26 Victor Carbone Trident 1:31.219 17
27. Carmen Jorda Koiranen GP 1:32.951 16
*Issued with a 5 place grid penalty following an incident in Silverstone Race 2