Aitken tops dramatic first qualifying session

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

Jack Aitken emerged on top of this morning’s season-opening qualifying session at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, finding a gap in traffic and soaring to pole in the closing minutes of the session to deny teammate Nirei Fukuzumi and Dorian Boccolacci by just over a tenth.

The Briton squeezed onto the top of the timesheets with a stunning lap of 1:34.187, nailing his lap at just the right time to claim the first GP3 pole position of 2017 in a qualifying session that saw the times tumble throughout the 30 minute period, right up until the chequered flag.

The session opened to dry and sunny conditions, with all of the grid heading straight out on track to make the most of them. Giuliano Alesi set the first competitive time, with his rivals soon on the attack: Santino Ferrucci, Boccolacci, Aitken and Fukuzumi all spent time on the top spot before Boccolacci laid down a challenge just before everyone returned to the pits for fresh tyres, giving his rivals one last time to target.

The field re-emerged for the final 10 minutes and built up enough heat in the tyres for a final push: in the final 2 minutes George Russell struck before ART teammate Aitken displaced him in P1, with first Boccolacci and then Fukuzumi slotting in just behind him as the clock rolled down to zero.

Russell, Leonardo Pulcini, Arjun Maini, Alesi and Alessio Lorandi all improved on their final lap to fill out the top 8, with 15 drivers finishing the session within a second of the pole time: the battle recommences in this afternoon’s race 1.

Provisional Qualifying Results

 Pos

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Jack Aitken

ART Grand Prix

1:34.187

12

2.

Nirei Fukuzumi

ART Grand Prix

1:34.358

12

3.

Dorian Boccolacci

Trident

1:34.380

13

4.

George Russell

ART Grand Prix

1:34.468

13

5.

Leonardo Pulcini

Arden International

1:34.602

13

6.

Arjun Maini

Jenzer Motorsport

1:34.685

13

7.

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

1:34.708

13

8.

Alessio Lorandi

Jenzer Motorsport

1:34.720

13

9.

Marcos Siebert

Campos Racing

1:34.788

14

10.

Anthoine Hubert

ART Grand Prix

1:34.866

12

11.

Niko Kari

Arden International

1:34.964

13

12.

Raoul Hyman

Campos Racing

1:35.031

14

13.

Steijn Schothorst

Arden International

1:35.041

13

14.

Santino Ferrucci

DAMS

1:35.070

12

15.

Julien Falchero

Campos Racing

1:35.088

12

16.

Ryan Tveter

Trident

1:35.224

14

17.

Kevin Jörg

Trident

1:35.423

12

18.

Tatiana Calderon

DAMS

1:35.613

13

19.

Bruno Baptista

DAMS

1:35.851

12

Search