That’s how to make a first impression! Debutant Luca Ghiotto from Trident impressed the field in a wet session to claim a maiden pole position in his first race weekend by three tenths of a second. Carlin’s Emil Bernstorff will join the Italian on the front row, with Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson in third.
Rain had fallen overnight and again prior to the thirty minute qualifying session. The 26 drivers fed onto the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on wet Pirelli tyres for Round 6 of the 2014 GP3 Series. Carmen Jorda was an early victim to the conditions; the Spaniard ran wide at Turn 14 and was beached in the gravel, a premature end to her session.
Series leader Alex Lynn headed the timesheet early on lapping in the 2m23’s before Eriksson improved on the Carlin driver’s time to snatch P1. ART Grand Prix’s Marvin Kirchhöfer and Dino Zamparelli were third and fourth. At the midway point, Eriksson held a 0.463s margin over Lynn as the sun decided to make an appearance.
After twenty minutes, the drivers returned to the pitlane, ready for new rubber. Zamparelli gambled with slick tyres which didn’t pay off but the track became alive when Ghiotto began to light the timing screen and produced the best lap of the session with a 2:22.251. Despite the sunshine, there was no drying line appearing, with drivers struggling to make a big impact on their laptimes.
Bernstorff moved into second, whilst Lynn was on his best lap on his final attempt but was slightly hindered by traffic and remained in P5. At the chequered flag, it was jubilation for Trident, their first pole in the category. The top ten will line-up as Ghiotto, Bernstorff, Eriksson, Richie Stanaway, Lynn, Patrick Kujala, Kirchhöfer, Patric Niederhauser, Mathéo Tuscher and Zamparelli.
Race 1 takes place later today at 16:20 local time as the quest for supremacy continues.
Qualifying – Spa-Francorchamps
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Luca Ghiotto Trident 2:22.251 11
2. Emil Bernstorff Carlin 2:22.584 10
3. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 2:22.678 9
4. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 2:22.862 11
5. Alex Lynn Carlin 2:23.081 11
6. Patrick Kujala Marussia Manor Racing 2:23.303 11
7. Marvin Kirchhöfer ART Grand Prix 2:23.413 9
8. Patric Niederhauser Arden International 2:23.438 10
9. Mathéo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 2:23.481 11
10. Dino Zamparelli ART Grand Prix 2:23.565 11
11. Dean Stoneman Marussia Manor Racing 2:23.586 11
12. Jann Mardenborough Arden International 2:23.794 11
13. Nick Yelloly Status Grand Prix 2:23.920 11
14. Robert Visoiu Arden International 2:23.996 10
15. Kevin Ceccon Jenzer Motorsport 2:24.057 12
16. Alex Fontana ART Grand Prix 2:24.248 9
17. Sebastian Balthasar Hilmer Motorsport 2:24.464 12
18. Santiago Urrutia Koiranen GP 2:24.687 11
19 Nelson Mason Hilmer Motorsport 2:24.846 12
20. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 2:24.862 10
21. Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 2:25.301 11
22. Alfonso Celis. Jr Status Grand Prix 2:25.553 11
23. Riccardo Agostini Hilmer Motorsport 2:25.965 11
24. John Bryant-Meisner Trident 2:25.969 12
25. Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing 2:26.537 11
26 Carmen Jorda Koiranen GP – 0