GP3

Valencia SC: Series qualifying report

Guiterrez takes pole in Valencia ART Grand Prix's Esteban Gutierrez claimed the top spot in qualifying at the Valencia Street Circuit today taking his first pole position in GP3 and ending Nigel Melker's run at the top. ART Grand Prix's...

Guiterrez takes pole in Valencia

ART Grand Prix's Esteban Gutierrez claimed the top spot in qualifying at the Valencia Street Circuit today taking his first pole position in GP3 and ending Nigel Melker's run at the top.

ART Grand Prix's Esteban Gutierrez claimed the top spot in qualifying at the Valencia Street Circuit today taking his first pole position in GP3 and ending Nigel Melker's run at the top.

The Mexican driver followed up on his stellar performance of yesterday with a lap time of 1:58. 653, just 5 hundredths of a second ahead of second place man Atech CRS GP's Roberto Merhi -- the Spanish driver giving the British team its best qualifying result of the season so far in what is his first GP3 Series qualifying.

Pole man Gutierrez didn't have it all his own way. Just three minutes from the end of qualifying the Mexican hit the wall at turn 5 causing a red flag, prematurely ending the session, but the ART driver had already done enough to take the top spot and his rivals were unable to respond.

Once again MW Arden's Michael Christensen and Gutierrez were the early pace setters in the thirty minute session. The pair were soon joined at the top of the time sheets by Status GP's Robert Wickens who was back on form after a disappointing practice session yesterday. The Canadian had a close brush with the wall after a last ditch attempt to claim the top stop, but unlike Gutierrez the Status man drove away relatively unscathed.

MW Arden's Michael Christensen showed yet again that he has the pace to compete with the front runners. The Dane posted the fourth quickest time ahead of Tech 1 Racing's Jean-Eric Vergne in fifth and Addax Team's Felipe Guimaraes in sixth. Previous pole sitter Nigel Melker looked liked continuing his run at the top early on, but was unable to respond as the field took to the track on new rubber and ended up seventh. Rounding out the top ten was previous race winner Rio Haryanto for Manor Racing, Miki Monras for MW Arden and Stefano Coletti for Tech 1 Racing.

Race 1 action starts later today at 17:20 local time.

-source: gp3

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About this article
Series GP3
Drivers Robert Wickens , Stefano Coletti , Esteban Gutierrez , Michael Christensen , Roberto Merhi , Miki Monras , Rio Haryanto , Jean-Eric Vergne , Nigel Melker
Teams Status Grand Prix , ART Grand Prix