Spa GP3: Ghiotto beats ART duo to pole
Luca Ghiotto edged out Esteban Ocon and Marvin Kirchhofer to secure a fourth GP3 pole in five attempts in qualifying at Spa.
ART teammates Ocon and Kirchhofer were at the top of the timesheets at the halfway stage of the 30 minute session, the former setting a benchmark of 2m05.862s, with points leader Ghiotto down in sixth.
But as track conditions improved in the final minutes of the session, Emil Bernstorff smashed Ocon's time by half a second with an effort of 2m05.308s.
Moments later, Ghiotto lowered the bar by a further 0.365s, the Trident driver becoming the only man to break the 2m05s barrier with a scintillating lap of 2m04.943s.
Ocon tried in vain to wrest back the top spot, but the reigning European Formula 3 champion fell 0.171s short in the final reckoning to seal a spot on the front row, with Kirchhofer ending up 0.201s off the pace in third.
Bernstorff found himself demoted to fourth, ahead of Ferrari junior Antonio Fuoco, with Hungary sprint race winner Kevin Ceccon making it an all-Italian third row.
Matt Parry, Matheo Tuscher, Jimmy Eriksson and Alfonso Celis Jr completed the top 10, with Nissan sportscar regular Jann Mardenborough, who was as high as second at one stage, shuffled back to 11th.
On her return to GP3 action, Beitske Visser could do no better than 19th.
|2||Esteban Ocon||ART Grand Prix||2'05.114||0.171|
|3||Marvin Kirchhofer||ART Grand Prix||2'05.144||0.201|
|4||Emil Bernstorff||Arden International||2'05.308||0.365|
|6||Kevin Ceccon||Arden International||2'05.591||0.648|
|7||Matt Parry||Koiranen GP||2'05.618||0.675|
|8||Matheo Tuscher||Jenzer Motorsport||2'05.669||0.726|
|9||Jimmy Eriksson||Koiranen GP||2'05.704||0.761|
|10||Alfonso Celis||ART Grand Prix||2'05.834||0.891|
|12||Pal Varhaug||Jenzer Motorsport||2'05.931||0.988|
|13||Seb Morris||Status Grand Prix||2'05.938||0.995|
|14||Alex Palou||Campos Racing||2'05.939||0.996|
|16||Ralph Boschung||Jenzer Motorsport||2'06.110||1.167|
|18||Alex Fontana||Status Grand Prix||2'06.317||1.374|
|20||Adderly Fong||Koiranen GP||2'06.537||1.594|
|21||Alex Bosak||Arden International||2'06.538||1.595|
|22||Zaid Ashkanani||Campos Racing||2'06.922||1.979|
|23||Sandy Stuvik||Status Grand Prix||2'07.106||2.163|
Analysis: Why has GP3 been eclipsed by F3?
Spa GP3: Ocon holds off Bernstorff to win chaotic race