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DATE News (chronologically)
05/07/11
gp3
Dillmann storms to Istanbul pole for Carlin
Rookie Tom Dillman looks impressive with a pole already
Rookie Tom Dillmann took a last gasp pole position for Carlin at Istanbul Park by just 0.029 seconds.

The first qualifying session of the season got underway in Istanbul in bright and sunny conditions, and after yesterday’s second practice session it was impossible to tell who would come out on top. All thirty cars hit the track as soon as the lights turned green, with Valtteri Bottas, Antonio Felix Da Costa and Alexander Sims swapping best times.

After setting the second quickest time in the first half of the session, yesterday’s quickest man Nigel Melker was one of the first to stop for new tires with just ten minutes left on the session. The Dutchman went top with a 1:45.541 lap time, with Bottas hot on his tail – the Finn was visibly pushing hard all session.

With most of the drivers now on new rubber, the session came alive. Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims moved up in to second with Dillmann in third, ahead of Bottas. With just minutes left on the clock RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Michael Christensen, Addax Team’s Dean Smith and MW Arden’s Williamson were both on hot laps. Christensen moved up into second, with Smith third, but it Williamson who put himself top, and the Brit’s teammate Mitch Evans followed suit, moving into third.

With the end of the session in sight Bottas was setting purple sectors and looked set to go top, but the Finn just couldn’t find enough time in the final sector. Sims briefly went to the top of the timesheet, but it was Frenchman Dillmann who put together the perfect 1:45.391 lap and will start this afternoon’s race from the front row. Lining up behind the Carlin driver is Sims, Williamson, Caldarelli, Melker and Bottas.

Tillman's Carlin teammate Conor Daly, who makes his European racing debut this weekend, is all the way at the other end of the grid in 29th.  However, the young American believes there is plenty of potential to improve. Daly struggled to get the most from his tires in his first ever GP3 race weekend, but believes there is plenty of room for improvement. “It was a pretty frustrating session for me; obviously I am not happy to have qualified so far down. I think a struggled a little to bring in my new tires in the second half of the session. The good thing though is that Tom has given us some very good data and we will be able to look at that as a team and move forwards.”

The GP3 Series will be back on track this afternoon at 17:20 (local time) for Race 1.

Full qualifying times:

POS NO DRIVER ENTRANT TIME LAPS GAP
1 15 T. DILLMANN Carlin 1:45.391 14 0.000
2 4 A. SIMS Status Grand Prix 1:45.420 13 0.029
3 28 L. WILLIAMSON MW Arden 1:45.529 13 0.138
4 18 A. CALDARELLI Tech 1 Racing 1:45.534 13 0.143
5 31 N. MELKER RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:45.541 12 0.150
6 2 V. BOTTAS Lotus ART 1:45.624 15 0.233
7 3 J. CALADO Lotus ART 1:45.641 15 0.250
8 30 M. CHRISTENSEN RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:45.652 11 0.261
9 26 M. EVANS MW Arden 1:45.668 14 0.277
10 7 N. MULLER Jenzer Motorsport 1:45.672 13 0.281
11 5 A. FELIX DA COSTA Status Grand Prix 1:45.702 12 0.311
12 25 D. SMITH Addax Team 1:45.773 12 0.382
13 11 R. HARYANTO Marussia Manor Racing 1:45.825 15 0.434
14 27 S. TRUMMER MW Arden 1:45.955 13 0.564
15 24 G. CHAVES Addax Team 1:45.963 13 0.572
16 10 A. QUAIFE-HOBBS Marussia Manor Racing 1:45.977 15 0.586
17 20 M. STOCKINGER Atech CRS GP 1:45.071 14 0.680
18 23 D. STOREY Addax Team 1:46.071 14 0.727
19 21 N. YELLOLY Atech CRS GP 1:46.118 13 0.802
20 1 P. NUNES Lotus ART 1:46.193 14 0.802
21 29 L. BACHETA RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:46.193 10 0.836
22 22 Z. AMBERG Atech CRS GP 1:46.227 12 0.868
23 6 I. LUKASHEVICH Status Grand Prix 1:46.259 15 0.885
24 19 T. PAL KISS Tech 1 Racing 1:46.276 12 0.935
25 12 M. LAINE Marussia Manor Racing 1:46.326 13 0.948
26 9 V. GHIRELLI Jenzer Motorsport 1:46.339 14 1.013
27 8 M. ZIMIN Jenzer Motorsport 1:46.404 15 1.098
28 16 L. CORDEIRO Carlin 1:46.489 14 1.280
29 14 C. DALY Carlin 1:46.671 15 1.297
30 17 A.    VAINIO Tech 1 Racing 1:45.391 14 0.029
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