GP3

Istanbul: Series qualifying report

Nigel Melker blasts to pole in Istanbul RSC Mucke Motorsport's Nigel Melker repeated his brilliant Barcelona pole position at Istanbul Park this morning proving he's very much a man to watch this season. The Dutch driver took his second pole...

Nigel Melker blasts to pole in Istanbul

RSC Mucke Motorsport's Nigel Melker repeated his brilliant Barcelona pole position at Istanbul Park this morning proving he's very much a man to watch this season.

The Dutch driver took his second pole position of the season with a time of 1:46.361 stealing the top spot from ART's Esteban Guiterrez by just two tenths of a second.

This morning was much cooler in Istanbul with a track temperature of just 26 degrees. It was Manor Racing's Adrian Quaife-Hobbs who set the early pace, but Mexican Gutierrez was quick to respond. The majority of the session was then a game of chase between Quaife-Hobbs, Gutierrez and Melker. Despite suffering a gear change problem, the Mexican managed to ward off the competition and remain at the top of the timings.

The session was temporarily interrupted ten minutes from the end, when MW Arden's Michael Christensen lost a wheel out on track after a problem during his stop for tyres, Addax Team's Pablo Sanchez Lopez narrowly missing the #20 car.

When the chequered flag waved Dean Smith snuck up into P3 for Carlin posting a time of 1:46.728 knocking Quaife-Hobbs down into 4th with a time of 1:46.823. The Englishman's teammate James Jakes was close behind in 5th after a last ditch effort for the top spot. Daniel Morad put in an impressive performance to finish 6th no doubt putting a smile of the faces of his team Status GP after a disappointing start to the weekend yesterday.

The early morning start obviously agreed with Felipe Guimaraes, the Mexican put in one of his best performances in GP3 so far finishing in 7th spot with a time of 1:46.987. Jenzer's Simon Trummer finished in 8th spot, followed by a back on the pace Alexander Rossi in 9th. Rounding out the top ten was Tobias Hegewald for RSC Mucke Motorsport.

Yesterday's quickest man Rio Haryanto eventually ended the session in a lowly 18th spot after a brief spell in the top five.

The action continues later today with Race 1 at 17.20 local time.

-source: gp3 series

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