Abu Dhabi GP3: Ocon takes pole and championship lead

Esteban Ocon clinched a crucial pole for the opening race of the Abu Dhabi GP3 season finale, taking the championship lead from Luca Ghiotto by two points.

Abu Dhabi GP3: Ocon takes pole and championship lead
2015 GP3 Series Round 8. Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain Saturday 21 November 2015.Matthew Parry, Koiranen GP
Michele Beretta, Trident leads Zaid Ashkanani, Campos Racing and Aleksander Bosak, Arden International
Emil Bernstorff, Arden International leads Matthew Parry, Koiranen GP and Marvin Kirchhofer, ART Grand Prix
Marvin Kirchhofer, ART Grand Prix leads Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix
Race 1 Podium: third place Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix

ART Grand Prix's Ocon had set the early pace before Kevin Ceccon and Jimmy Eriksson went quicker than the Frenchman.

But the Mercedes junior came back and went 0.337s ahead of Eriksson after 10 minutes.

It was then Trident driver Ghiotto who headed the timesheets, his lap of 1m55.634s putting him 0.417s ahead of Ocon, albeit only after appearing to exceed track limits.

For the final runs, Ceccon took provisional pole before Ocon lapped in a 1m55.491s, going a mere 0.016s ahead of the Italian driver to take his third straight GP3 pole and the championship lead.

Ceccon finished second ahead of Marvin Kirchhofer with Ghiotto only managing fourth, after losing crucial time in the final sector.

The top four were separated by only 0.088s, while the top 16 were within a second of the polesitter's time.

Eriksson was fifth ahead of Emil Bernstorff, while a fast looking Antonio Fuoco only finished seventh in an incident-free session.

The top 10 was rounded by Alex Palou in eighth, Matt Parry ninth and Artur Janosz 10th.

Qualifying times:

Pos. Driver Team Time Gap
 Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 1'55.491  
 Kevin Ceccon Arden International 1'55.507 0.016
 Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 1'55.549 0.058
 Luca Ghiotto Trident 1'55.574 0.083
 Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1'55.679 0.188
 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 1'55.852 0.361
 Antonio Fuoco Carlin 1'55.873 0.382
 Alex Palou Campos Racing 1'55.919 0.428
 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 1'55.952 0.461
10   Artur Janosz Trident 1'56.064 0.573
11   Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1'56.095 0.604
12   Mitch Gilbert Carlin 1'56.205 0.714
13   Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1'56.265 0.774
14   Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 1'56.284 0.793
15   Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP 1'56.313 0.822
16   Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 1'56.361 0.870
17   Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 1'56.538 1.047
18   Adderly Fong Carlin 1'56.877 1.386
19   Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 1'56.936 1.445
20   Michele Beretta Trident 1'57.030 1.539
21   Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 1'57.163 1.672
22   Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing 1'57.468 1.977
23   Seb Morris* Status Grand Prix 1'56.871 1.380
24   Alex Bosak Arden International 1'58.865 3.374

*Five-place penalty

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