Paul Ricard GP3: Boccolacci leads French 1-2-3 in qualifying
Dorian Boccolacci scored a maiden GP3 pole position for his home event at Paul Ricard, leading an all-French top three on the grid.
Campos Racing’s Leonardo Pulcini had ended ART's lengthy GP3 pole streak in Barcelona in April, and GP3's dominant team has been denied once more at Paul Ricard, as Boccolacci topped qualifying for series newcomer MP Motorsport.
He was the last frontrunner to set a lap, unseating ART’s Anthoine Hubert from the top spot.
Hubert and Giuliano Alesi, son of Formula 1 driver Jean, were less than a tenth behind Boccolacci in a thrilling battle where multiple drivers in a variety of teams challenged, and the top 10 was separated by less than 0.6s.
Alesi of Trident – who won the season opening sprint race in Barcelona – narrowly fended off another ART, of Barcelona feature race winner Nikita Mazepin, while Pulcini rounded out the top five.
Niko Kari constantly ran just in front of his teammate Boccolacci on the road, but couldn’t match his improvement on the final run, although he did leap into the top six.
ART's Callum Ilott led after the first series of quick laps before drivers regrouped in the pits, but could only manage seventh, with a moment at the final turn hampering his last effort.
Alessio Lorandi, Pedro Piquet and Joey Mawson made up the top 10, having been shuffled down the order as the session went on - with Mawson having featured as high as third.
Just outside the top 10, Renault junior Christian Lundgaard impressed on his debut. He was just 0.6s slower than pole in 11th, having not driven the car before Friday practice after replacing Will Palmer in a one-off.
ART's fourth driver, Jake Hughes, again qualified outside the top 10, lapping seven tenths off in 12th.
|1||Dorian Boccolacci||MP Motorsport||1'50.615|
|2||Anthoine Hubert||ART Grand Prix||1'50.697||0.082|
|4||Nikita Mazepin||ART Grand Prix||1'50.861||0.246|
|5||Leonardo Pulcini||Campos Racing||1'50.880||0.265|
|6||Niko Kari||MP Motorsport||1'50.900||0.285|
|7||Callum Ilott||ART Grand Prix||1'50.904||0.289|
|10||Joey Mawson||Arden International||1'51.180||0.565|
|11||Christian Lundgaard||MP Motorsport||1'51.266||0.651|
|12||Jake Hughes||ART Grand Prix||1'51.308||0.693|
|13||Tatiana Calderon||Jenzer Motorsport||1'51.338||0.723|
|14||David Beckmann||Jenzer Motorsport||1'51.409||0.794|
|16||Juan Manuel Correa||Jenzer Motorsport||1'51.470||0.855|
|17||Simo Laaksonen||Campos Racing||1'51.614||0.999|
|18||Gabriel Aubry||Arden International||1'51.631||1.016|
|19||Julien Falchero||Arden International||1'51.758||1.143|
|20||Diego Menchaca||Campos Racing||1'51.797||1.182|
Renault junior Lundgaard replaces Palmer at MP
Paul Ricard GP3: Boccolacci survives grid scare to win