WICKENS AND MORAD SECURE TOP FOUR POSITIONS FOR GP3 FEATURE RACE
Robert Wickens took pole position and his Status GP team-mate Daniel Morad secured fourth place in the qualifying session for this afternoon's GP3 Series feature race at Spa-Francorchamps.
Canadian Wickens' best lap was 0.5sec clear of his nearest challenger in wet conditions at the challenging 4.35-mile Belgian circuit. He set the lap on wet weather tyres on a drying circuit, before he and his rivals pitted towards the end of the 30-minute session to change to slicks.
However, a series of incidents as cars span off the circuit in the slippery conditions at the end of the session meant that yellow caution flags were displayed, and Wickens backed off and did not improve his times. Some other GP3 drivers did go faster before the chequered flag, but a stewards inquiry concluded this afternoon that any improved times were deleted, and Wickens' advantage was restored. This means he will start on pole for the first time this season, and gives him maximum opportunity to close the gap on championship rival Esteban Gutierrez.
GMH Motorsport-backed driver Daniel Morad also showed superb form in his first visit to the sweeping Spa track to set the fourth fastest time on his wet weather tyres. The Canadian-Lebanese star also slowed down when he saw the yellow flags at the end of the session, despite being on a faster lap, and therefore avoided action from the stewards.
Marussia Motors Development driver Ivan Lukashevich suffered some misfortune during the session. Running as high as 11th place midway through the session, the Russian driver pitted to change to slick tyres with 10 minutes remaining. However, and problem re-firing the engine lost him valuable time and the 19- year-old was unable to get his tyres up to full operating temperature before the end of the session and dropped to 18th on the grid in the final reckoning.
Robert Wickens (CAN): Best time: 2m19.94s, POLE; Position: 1st.
Daniel Morad (LIB): Best time: 2m20.87s, +0.92s; Position: 4th.
Ivan Lukashevich (RUS): Best time: 2m26.14s, + 6.21s; Position: 18th.
-source: status gp