Kiwi Richie Stanaway claimed his maiden pole position in GP3 today, narrowly edging out Series leader from Carlin, Alex Lynn by a mere 0.035s. Nick Yelloly also from Status Grand Prix was in third making it an excellent start to proceedings for the green and black outfit.
Hot temperatures set the scene for the thirty minute qualifying session at the Hungaroring for Round 5 of the 2014 GP3 Series. ART Grand Prix’s Dino Zamparelli was the first driver to lap in the 1m33’s to go P1 by almost half a second with his teammate Alex Fontana his nearest rival.
There were small spins for Sebastian Balthasar, Mathéo Tuscher and Riccardo Agostini with all drivers avoiding contact with barriers, thus able to continue. Red Bull Junior team driver Lynn had set the fastest sector one but at the midway point of the session the Brit was in an unusual position of a lowly P24. His nearest rival in the Series Jimmy Eriksson was only place higher in qualifying at the midway point but got his head down and the Swede shot up to P3.
The Status Grand Prix duo of Yelloly and Stanaway went P2 and P3, with the Brit two tenths off Zamparelli’s best effort. Marussia Manor Racing’s Patrick Kujala rose to P2 whilst Zamparelli further improved on his quickest lap to increase his advantage at the head of the timesheet.
It was all change at the top over the next few minutes with Arden International’s Robert Visoiu posting the best lap, until Lynn jumped from P24 to provisional pole, a tenth faster than the Romanian. There was more excitement to come though with Stanaway setting the fastest time of the session in a 1:33.553.
With 2 minutes and 55 seconds left on the clock the session was red flagged when Alfonso Celis. Jr stopped after contact at with the barrier at Turn 5 and his car was in a dangerous position. Roman De Beer had also spun in a separate incident. Fontana had been on a flier on that lap and had to back off for the red flag with many others driver facing the same predicament on their push laps.
The drivers formed a large queue in the pitlane as they were eager to get back onto the circuit for one final attempt in the fight for pole. Yelloly lit the middle sector purple to move up to P3 but the session would belong to Stanaway at the chequered flag. Behind Stanaway, Lynn and Yelloly were Visoiu, Zamparelli, Emil Bernstorff, Patric Niederhauser, Fontana, Kujala and Marvin Kirchhöfer.
Race 1 takes place later today at 16:20 local time as the quest for supremacy continues.
Qualifying – Budapest
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:33.553 15
2. Alex Lynn Carlin 1:33.588 13
3. Nick Yelloly Status Grand Prix 1:33.679 13
4. Robert Visoiu Arden International 1:33.729 13
5. Dino Zamparelli ART Grand Prix 1:33.771 13
6. Emil Bernstorff Carlin 1:33.807 14
7. Patric Niederhauser Arden International 1:33.873 13
8. Alex Fontana ART Grand Prix 1:33.894 13
9. Patrick Kujala Marussia Manor Racing 1:33.975 13
10. Marvin Kirchhöfer* ART Grand Prix 1:34.076 13
11. Luis Sa Silva** Carlin 1:34.084 13
12. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1:34.124 14
13. Jann Mardenborough Arden International 1:34.231 13
14. Mitchell Gilbert Trident 1:34.253 12
15. Santiago Urrutia Koiranen GP 1:34.265 14
16. Dean Stoneman Marussia Manor Racing 1:34.308 12
17. Roman De Beer Trident 1:34.327 13
18. Riccardo Agostini Hilmer Motorsport 1:34.346 13
19 Mathéo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1:34.420 13
20. Nelson Mason Hilmer Motorsport 1:34.450 13
21. Pal Varhaug* Jenzer Motorsport 1:34.545 13
22. Sebastian Balthasar Hilmer Motorsport 1:34.569 13
23. Alfonso Celis. Jr Status Grand Prix 1:34.821 10
24. Christopher Höher Jenzer Motorsport 1:35.776 12
25. Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing 1:35.915 13
26 Carmen Jorda Koiranen GP 1:38.632 14
*Issued with a 5 place grid penalty following an incident in Hockenheim Race 2
**Issued with a 5 place grid penalty following an incident in Budapest Free Practice