Boccolacci earns first GP3 pole at Paul Ricard

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Boccolacci earns first GP3 pole at Paul Ricard

GP3

Boccolacci earns first GP3 pole at Paul Ricard

Dorian Boccolacci took his maiden GP3 Series pole position in style, the MP Motorsport driver prevailing late on during qualifying in Le Castellet, France to overhaul countryman Anthoine Hubert in the dying moments of the session with a 1m50.615s lap. ART Grand Prix’s Hubert begins tomorrow’s race from the front row, as Giuliano Alesi of Trident completed an all-French top three.

In cooler temperatures compared to those experienced in the morning’s practice session, Ryan Tveter led the field out and was first to pump in a flying lap, setting a time in the 1m52s despite having run marginally off-track. Alesi then eclipsed his teammate by half a second, prior to the ART pair of Jake Hughes and Nikita Mazepin splitting the Trident pair in the opening stages.

Joey Mawson then thrust his way into the top two, before the MP pair of Boccolacci and Niko Kari entered the fray – the former going quickest for a short spell before Hubert found a quarter of a second’s advantage over the field. Hubert’s teammates Hughes and Callum Ilott were soon threatening the Frenchman’s pace, Ilott vaulting into first with a rapid second sector in his pocket, while Hughes aborted his flying run.

Returning to a provisional front row again, Mawson was moved aside by Boccolacci for second; the local driver then continued to display strong pace around the Circuit Paul Ricard with a lap 0.3s quicker than Ilott’s benchmark ahead of a mid-session hiatus in running. Hughes got the running back underway, but Hubert soon found his way past in the pursuit of clear track.

With six minutes on the clock, Hubert surged into first with a 1m50.697s, and his time seemed set to carry him to pole having resisted hot laps from teammates Mazepin and Hughes. Alesi’s chances of pole were nixed by a wide moment at turn 12, before Boccolacci’s late raid on the timing boards handed the MP driver pole position.

Mazepin took fourth behind Hubert and Alesi, with Leonardo Pulcini popping up in the top five late on in the session. Kari took sixth ahead of Ilott, as Alessio Lorandi assumed eighth place ahead of Trident teammate Pedro Piquet – with Mawson rounding out the top 10.

With three French drivers adorning the front two rows of the grid, the first of two GP3 races this weekend should offer plenty of interest to the home crowd – and all eyes will be on them to send the French fans into raptures.

2018 GP3 Series Round 2 — Le Castellet, France — Provisional Qualifying Results

Driver
Team
Time
Laps
1
Dorian Boccolacci
MP Motorsport
1:50.615
14
2
Anthoine Hubert
ART Grand Prix
1:50.697
13
3
Giuliano Alesi
Trident
1:50.708
13
4
Nikita Mazepin
ART Grand Prix
1:50.861
13
5
Leonardo Pulcini
Campos Racing
1:50.880
12
6
Niko Kari
MP Motorsport
1:50.900
14
7
Callum Ilott
ART Grand Prix
1:50.904
13
8
Alessio Lorandi
Trident
1:51.108
14
9
Pedro Piquet
Trident
1:51.134
14
10
Joey Mawson
Arden International
1:51.180
13
11
Christian Lundgaard
MP Motorsport
1:51.266
14
12
Jake Hughes
ART Grand Prix
1:51.308
13
13
Tatiana Calderon
Jenzer Motorsport
1:51.338
12
14
David Beckmann
Jenzer Motorsport
1:51.409
14
15
Ryan Tveter
Trident
1:51.450
14
16
Juan Manuel Correa
Jenzer Motorsport
1:51.470
13
17
Simo Laaksonen
Campos Racing
1:51.614
12
18
Gabriel Aubry
Arden International
1:51.631
13
19
Julien Falchero
Arden International
1:51.758
13
20
Diego Menchaca
Campos Racing
1:51.797
12

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