Ocon takes the lead in the title battle: Ghiotto will start from fourth
ART Grand Prix’s Esteban Ocon made an important step in his fight for this season’s title: The Frenchman came into the final round of the year with a two point deficit; but following an epic qualifying session, Ocon edged out Arden International’s Kevin Ceccon by just 0.016s. Pole was even more meaningful for the Mercedes junior as the four points pocketed means he re-takes the lead in the standings by two points. Marvin Kirchhöfer finished third with title contender Luca Ghiotto in fourth.
Ocon set the early pace in the session with Ceccon in P2. Ghiotto was on a mission and was first to lap in the 1m55’s, lapping four tenths rival than his main rival. The Trident ace tried to improve on his next run, but he was 0.089s off his best time after running slightly wide.
At the midway point, everyone returned to the pitlane for new Pirelli tyres. On their second run, it was Ceccon who took provisional pole, with Carlin’s Antonio Fuoco demoting Ocon to fourth. The Frenchman retaliated but could only manage P3 at that point, before his teammate Kirchhöfer shot into second – a mere 0.042s off Ceccon.
As the clock ticked down, Ghiotto was doing all he could to reclaim back P1: He was fastest in sector two but again lost time in the final sector of the track. With several minutes remaining, Ocon lit the timing screen in purple as he was quickest in sector one. The ART Grand Prix rookie clocked the best lap of the session to take pole position and mark his claim in a titanic tussle for this year’s title.

Ghiotto was one of the last to cross the line to take the chequered flag: The Italian’s lap wasn’t enough to challenge Ocon with the Trident star having to start from the second row tomorrow. At the flag, Ocon held on to take his third consecutive pole position, ahead of Ceccon who clocked his personal best qualifying of the campaign. Kirchhöfer joins Ghiotto on the second row ahead of Jimmy Eriksson, Emil Bernstorff, Fuoco, Alex Palou, Matthew Parry and Artur Janosz.

The top five drivers were separated by just 0.188s with the top 16 drivers covered by less than one second, underlining the fierce competition amongst the pack of talented youngsters…
Race 1 takes place tomorrow at 12:25 local time (GMT+4). With two races to go, every lap will count in the duel between Ocon and Ghiotto for the coveted GP3 title! A Champion could be crowned tomorrow…don’t miss it!
Qualifying
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Esteban Ocon
ART Grand Prix
1:55.491
12
2.
Kevin Ceccon
Arden International
1:55.507
12
3.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
1:55.549
12
4.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
1:55.574
13
5.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
1:55.679
13
6.
Emil Bernstorff
Arden International
1:55.852
12
7.
Antonio Fuoco
Carlin
1:55.873
13
8.
Alex Palou
Campos Racing
1:55.919
12
9.
Matthew Parry
Koiranen GP
1:55.952
11
10.
Artur Janosz
Trident
1:56.064
12
11.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
1:56.095
13
12.
Mitchell Gilbert
Carlin
1:56.205
13
13.
Matheo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
1:56.265
13
14.
Ralph Boschung
Jenzer Motorsport
1:56.284
12
15.
Matevos Isaakyan
Koiranen GP
1:56.313
11
16.
Zaid Ashkanani
Campos Racing
1:56.361
12
17.
Alex Fontana
Status Grand Prix
1:56:538
11
18.
Seb Morris
Status Grand Prix
1:56.871
12
19.
Adderly Fong
Carlin
1:56.877
13
20.
Sandy Stuvik
Status Grand Prix
1:56.936
12
21.
Michele Beretta
Trident
1:57.030
12
22.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
ART Grand Prix
1:57.163
12
23.
Konstantin Tereshchenko
Campos Racing
1:57.468
13
24.
Aleksander Bosak
Arden International
1:58.865
12