Abu Dhabi GP2: Gasly defeats Vandoorne to claim third pole

Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly beat Stoffel Vandoorne to secure his third pole position in the last four rounds of the GP2 season in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi GP2: Gasly defeats Vandoorne to claim third pole

Gasly, who was the standout in GP2 testing in Abu Dhabi leading up to the 2015 season, smashed the existing Yas Marina track record on his way to the DAMS squad's fourth consecutive pole.

Qualifying was expected to be a toss-up between Gasly and series champion Vandoorne, since the duo had dominated practice, and both duly delivered early on.

Gasly immediately went below the existing track record at the start of the session, while Vandoorne scuppered his first flying lap with a lock-up, only to move to second place with a proper attempt.

While the rest of the field sat at half a second back, Gasly's teammate Alex Lynn rose to the occasion during the final minutes, closing in on the Frenchman's time.

But Gasly, despite nearly having an off in the final sector, punched in a benchmark 1m47.769s - and Vandoorne, subsequently coming up a tenth short, settled for a front row start, pulling into the pits well before the chequered flag.

A last-ditch effort from Mitch Evans allowed him to nab third place from Lynn, albeit he was still 0.245s off Gasly.

Raffaele Marciello took fifth for Trident, ahead of Rio Haryanto and Racing Engineering pair Alexander Rossi and Jordan King.

While Nobuharu Matsushita and Artem Markelov made up the top 10, Sergey Sirotkin - who sits as the championship's top rookie - finished 12th behind Andre Negrao.

Qualifying results:

Pos. Driver Team Time Gap
Pierre Gasly DAMS 1'47.769  
Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1'47.866 0.097
Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1'48.014 0.245
Alex Lynn DAMS 1'48.049 0.280
Raffaele Marciello Trident 1'48.419 0.650
Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1'48.429 0.660
Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1'48.598 0.829
Jordan King Racing Engineering 1'48.632 0.863
Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1'48.699 0.930
10  Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1'48.743 0.974
11  Andre Negrao Arden International 1'48.822 1.053
12  Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1'48.981 1.212
13  Norman Nato Arden International 1'49.105 1.336
14  Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1'49.110 1.341
15  Sergio Canamasas Daiko Team Lazarus 1'49.146 1.377
16  Dean Stoneman Carlin 1'49.166 1.397
17  Nicholas Latifi MP Motorsport 1'49.350 1.581
18  Oliver Rowland Status Grand Prix 1'49.374 1.605
19  Rene Binder MP Motorsport 1'49.661 1.892
20  Daniel de Jong Trident 1'49.727 1.958
21  Nathanael Berthon Daiko Team Lazarus 1'49.779 2.010
22  Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1'49.839 2.070
23  Gustav Malja Rapax 1'50.543 2.774
24  Sean Gelael Carlin 1'51.604 3.835
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