Ilott edges teammate Hughes for first GP3 pole

Ilott edges teammate Hughes for first GP3 pole

International Racing

Ilott edges teammate Hughes for first GP3 pole

Callum Ilott clinched his first GP3 Series pole position during the qualifying session at Spielberg, Austria, pipping ART Grand Prix teammate Jake Hughes to top spot with a 1m19.209s lap in the final stages of the session. Hughes secured his highest qualifying result of the season with second, with Trident’s Alessio Lorandi taking third place.

Unlike the morning’s practice, the session began in dry, overcast conditions; at the start, Ilott led ART stablemates Anthoine Hubert, Nikita Mazepin and Hughes out onto the Red Bull Ring. The running began inauspiciously for the Ferrari Academy driver — Ilott went off at Turn 1 on his first flying lap — to let Hubert clock the quickest time on the opening cycle of runs.

Ilott soon hit back, becoming the first to reach the 1m19s in the session, with Pedro Piquet (Trident) and Joey Mawson (Arden International) filtering in just behind the British driver. Mazepin then popped up onto the top of the timing boards before Ilott whittled the pace down further, finding a 1m19.630s ahead of the field electing to switch tires in the middle of the session.

Jenzer Motorsport’s Juan Manuel Correa got the running back underway, with Ilott once more taking the initiative and reopening the phase of hot laps in the final ten minutes. Ryan Tveter — who topped the morning’s free practice session — quickly threatened and elevated himself into second, but Ilott extended his advantage over the Trident driver before Mazepin returned to head the times.

Hughes then assumed control of the session in its final stages before Ilott was able to wrest back provisional pole, going half a tenth faster than his teammate to set a 1m19.209s. The session was then quickly red-flagged, as Hubert — who had sustained a huge wide moment at turn 10 on his hot lap — came to a halt on the track at the exit of Turn 6, requiring a tow away from the marshals. With just under two minutes left on the clock, the session was not restarted — cementing Ilott’s first GP3 pole.

Completing an all-ART front row, Hughes was 0.03s faster than Trident’s Alessio Lorandi, who starts from the second row alongside countryman Leonardo Pulcini. Mazepin begins Saturday’s race from fifth ahead of Piquet, with previous polesitter Dorian Boccolacci qualifying seventh to beat Tveter. French duo Gabriel Aubry and Giuliano Alesi complete the top ten.

As current series leader Hubert starts from 19th on the grid, all eyes will be on him to fight back through the field in Saturday’s Race 1, while the battle for victory should be hotly contested — with plenty of close racing expected at the Red Bull Ring.

Qualifying results:

Driver
Team
Time
Laps
1
Callum Ilott
ART Grand Prix
1:19.209
15
2
Jake Hughes
ART Grand Prix
1:19.246
15
3
Alessio Lorandi
Trident
1:19.276
16
4
Leonardo Pulcini
Campos Racing
1:19.344
15
5
Nikita Mazepin
ART Grand Prix
1:19.351
15
6
Pedro Piquet
Trident
1:19.400
14
7
Dorian Boccolacci
MP Motorsport
1:19.453
16
8
Ryan Tveter
Trident
1:19.487
16
9
Gabriel Aubry
Arden International
1:19.502
15
10
Giuliano Alesi
Trident
1:19.549
15
11
Juan Manuel Correa
Jenzer Motorsport
1:19.592
16
12
Simo Laaksonen
Campos Racing
1:19.606
15
13
Joey Mawson
Arden International
1:19.718
15
14
David Beckmann
Jenzer Motorsport
1:19.782
15
15
Diego Menchaca
Campos Racing
1:19.807
15
16
Niko Kari
MP Motorsport
1:19.902
16
17
Tatiana Calderon
Jenzer Motorsport
1:19.974
15
18
Julien Falchero
Arden International
1:19.995
15
19
Anthoine Hubert
ART Grand Prix
1:20.003
14
20
Devlin DeFrancesco
MP Motorsport
1:20.191
13

 

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