ART Grand Prix’s Conor Daly fastest in Spanish qualifying.
American Conor Daly was all smiles after securing his debut pole position in GP3 for Round 2 of the season in Valencia with a laptime of 1:22.329. The ART Grand Prix ace will be joined on the front row by MW Arden’s Daniil Kvyat and Carlin’s Nick Yelloly.
The qualifying session commenced under clear blue skies as the temperatures soared over the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. As the majority of the drivers took to the track, there was an early stoppage to the session when Marussia Manor Racing’s Ryan Cullen had a spin into the gravel session which caused a brief red flag. At this point, Kvyat, Giovanni Venturini (Trident) and Robert Visoiu (MW Arden) led the way with various drivers yet to record a time.
Once the session resumed, Koiranen GP’s Kevin Korjus shot to P2 until Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) demoted the Estonian a position. The Cypriot was charging hard and had a short excursion through the gravel.
At the midway point of the 30 minute session, most drivers returned to the pitlane for a new set of rubber in the quest for pole position. ART Grand Prix’s Facu Regalia rose to the top of standings and looked on course to keep P1 until Yelloly snatched provisional pole away with just two and half minutes left on the clock.
However, Daly and Kvyat had other ideas, and grabbed P1 and P2 as a second flag occurred when Status Grand Prix’s Adderly Fong stopped on the track. This left 1m55s remaining and once qualifying went “live” there was a mad rush out of the pitlane to complete a lap before the chequered flag was waved. Yelloly in P3 remained in the pits, as did Daly. Sainz improved on his previous best efforts to rise up the order to make it into the top ten on home soil.
The session ended with Daly achieving his maiden pole position, in front of Kvyat, Yelloly, Regalia, and the Koiranen GP duo of Aaro Vainio and Kevin Korjus. Ellinas was P7, with his Marussia Manor Racing teammate Dino Zamparelli one place back. Sainz and Visoiu rounded out the top ten. The top 19 drivers were covered by just one second.