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.

Spa GP3: Ghiotto beats ART duo to pole
Luca Ghiotto, Trident
Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix
Luca Ghiotto, Trident
Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix
Antonio Fuoco, Carlin

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.

Qualifying results:

Pos. Driver Team Time Gap
Luca Ghiotto Trident 2'04.943  
Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 2'05.114 0.171
Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 2'05.144 0.201
Emil Bernstorff Arden International 2'05.308 0.365
Antonio Fuoco Carlin 2'05.458 0.515
Kevin Ceccon Arden International 2'05.591 0.648
Matt Parry Koiranen GP 2'05.618 0.675
Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 2'05.669 0.726
Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 2'05.704 0.761
10  Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 2'05.834 0.891
11  Jann Mardenborough Carlin 2'05.869 0.926
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
15  Mitch Gilbert Carlin 2'06.065 1.122
16  Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 2'06.110 1.167
17  Artur Janosz Trident 2'06.314 1.371
18  Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 2'06.317 1.374
19  Beitske Visser Trident 2'06.373 1.430
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
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