Success! A memorable qualifying session saw Marvin Kirchhofer blaze to pole, whilst Carlin and Red Bull Junior Team rookie Alex Lynn became the fifth driver to take the elusive GP3 crown. The Brit had one hand on the coveted trophy prior to the season finale at Yas Marina Circuit, after his nearest challenger in the standing’s Dean Stoneman failed to pocket pole and the four points on offer – Lynn can not be beaten on points and thus celebrates a fantastic season. Kirchhöfer, Stoneman and Emil Bernstorff completed the top three in an intense qualifying session.
A change in schedule saw qualifying take place on the same day as Free Practice. The thirty minute session got underway with a pleasant breeze for the most decisive session of the season. ART Grand Prix’s Kirchhöfer was first into the 1m56’s with Alex Fontana hot on his tails, but it was Stoneman: the man on a mission to secure pole and keep his title hopes alive who shot to P1.
The German continued his impressive pace to reclaim provisional pole by 0.067s, as the drivers returned to the pits – the calm before the storm…Lynn posted the fastest time of the session with five minutes left on the clock until his teammate Bernstorff bettered his laptime. Kirchhöfer was not to be denied though and blitzed to a laptime over half a second faster than the Carlin duo. Stoneman knew what he had to do and clocked the fastest first sector but was unable to improve on the remainder of the lap due to yellow flags and traffic.
At the chequered flag, the session belonged to Kirchhöfer, the second pole position for the rookie, with Stoneman, Bernstorff and Lynn completing the front two rows. Dino Zamparelli, Jimmy Eriksson, Alex Fontana, Patric Niederhauser, Nick Yelloly and Richie Stanaway rounded out the top ten.
One title may have been decided but the teams’ trophy is still up for grabs: Race 1 will commence at 12.05 tomorrow (GMT+4) – don’t miss the penultimate race of the 2014 season.
Qualifying – Yas Marina
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Marvin Kirchhöfer ART Grand Prix 1:55.163 12
2. Dean Stoneman Koiranen GP 1:55.634 11
3. Emil Bernstorff Carlin 1:55.664 13
4. Alex Lynn Carlin 1:55.729 11
5. Dino Zamparelli ART Grand Prix 1:55.819 12
6. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1:55.863 12
7. Alex Fontana ART Grand Prix 1:55.900 13
8. Patric Niederhauser Arden International 1:55.995 12
9. Nick Yelloly Status Grand Prix 1:56.038 12
10. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:56.113 13
11. Kevin Ceccon Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.145 11
12. Patrick Kujala Trident 1:56.199 11
13. Jann Mardenborough Arden International 1:56.291 12
14. Santiago Urrutia Koiranen GP 1:56.443 13
15. Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.498 11
16. Robert Visoiu Arden International 1:56.501 11
17. Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1:56.530 11
18. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1:56.873 10
19. Riccardo Agostini Hilmer Motorsport 1:56.941 10
20. Nelson Mason Hilmer Motorsport 1:56.959 13
21. Alfonso Celis. Jr Status Grand Prix 1:57.577 12
22. Ryan Cullen Trident 1:57.697 12
23. Ling Kang Trident 1:58.816 12