MW Arden’s Daniil Kvyat set a laptime of 1:36.933 to achieve his debut pole in the category and finish over half a second quicker over his nearest rival, teammate Robert Visoiu. The Romanian driver will join Kvyat on the front row in his best qualifying of the season with title contender Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) heading the second row in P3. Kvyat’s flier was over seven seconds faster than the 2012 pole time set with the previous generation car.
The 30 minute session was filled with anticipation with four vital points up for grabs in the chase for the elusive GP3 crown. Another hot day greeted the 27 drivers as they lined up, eager to be in contention for pole position. Carlos Sainz and Lewis Williamson led the way with the Spaniard first to lap in the 1m37’s early on.
Kvyat demoted his teammate to take provisional pole, again showing good pace after topping yesterday’s Free Practice session. At the midway point, most drivers returned to the pits for new rubber and make set-up changes. The Russian driver was busy lighting up the timing screen as he lapped in the 1m36’s to set the target to his competitors by a large margin of half a second.
Ellinas was one of the big movers in the final minutes, shooting up to P3 behind Kvyat and Visoiu. Carlin’s Nick Yelloly in P5 was also trying to improve but ran wide over the kerbs which sent his car into a spin and a premature halt to his session. His teammate Alexander Sims also had an excursion into the gravel, whilst home favourite David Fumanelli (Trident) stopped at Turn 2 which was covered by yellow flags.
At the chequered flag, Kvyat enjoyed his maiden pole with his teammate Visoiu in tow. Ellinas can concentrate on reclaiming his lead in the GP3 title proceedings with a strong qualifying in third ahead of Sims, Yelloly, Sainz, Conor Daly, Series leader Facu Regalia, Kevin Korjus and Williamson.
Action is guaranteed in Race 1, which starts at 17.20 CET later today as the quest for the GP3 title rises another notch…