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DATE News (chronologically)
06/25/11
gp3
Last gasp GP3 pole for Williamson
A happy Lewis Williamson
MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson pipped his fellow countryman Adrian Quaife-Hobbs to take his first GP3 Series pole position in a frantic qualifying session at the Valencia Street Circuit today. The Manor driver looked like taking the team’s first pole in the Series, but was knocked off the top spot in the final minutes of the session. 

Once again the thirty young GP3 drivers had to content with extremely hot conditions as they battled it out for a front row race start. Williamson was first to set a competitive time around the 5.419 km track with Quaife-Hobbs a fraction behind in second spot, but a few minutes into the session and Barcelona’s poleman Mitch Evans took control of the timesheet once again. Also close to the New Zealander’s time were Lotus ART’s Valtteri Bottas, Tech 1 Racing’s Aaro Vainio, Addax Team’s Dean Smith and his teammate Tom Dillmann.

Midway through qualifying Quaife-Hobbs was a mere 0.113 seconds behind Evans, but the Brit found himself bogged down in traffic and unable to complete a clean lap, until with just under ten minutes left in the session he found the space he needed and planted his Manor car at the top of the timesheet with a 1:58.881 lap. Meanwhile, Evans was in the pits with mechanical gremlins and was unable to challenge the Brit. With the clock counting down the final minutes of the session, Quaife-Hobbs looked like he had done enough to keep his top spot, but Williamson had other ideas, and the Scot set his 1:58.693 pole time bumping the Manor driver into second. Soon after, Smith squeezed himself onto the front row.

With two minutes remaining, Evans made it back out on track but couldn’t do anything about the British trio and had to settle for fourth. Vainio was fifth. Despite a clash earlier on the session with Gabby Chaves, Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims qualified in sixth ahead of Dillmann, Chaves and the Lotus ART duo of Bottas and Calado. With the top ten drivers covered by just 0.4 seconds, and the top twenty-one with a second, Race 1 later this afternoon promises to be action packed.

Qualifying times:

POS NO DRIVER TEAM TIME LAPS GAP
1 28 L. WILLIAMSON MW Arden 1:58.693 12 0.000
2 25 D. SMITH Addax Team 1:58.857 13 0.164
3 10 A. QUAIFE-HOBBS Marussia Manor Racing 1:58.881 13 0.188
4 26 M. EVANS MW Arden 1:58.892 6 0.199
5 17 A. VAINIO Tech 1 Racing 1:58.984 12 0.291
6 4 A. SIMS Status Grand Prix 1:58.986 13 0.293
7 23 T. DILLMANN Addax Team 1:58.986 14 0.293
8 24 G. CHAVES Addax Team 1:59.023 12 0.330
9 2 V. BOTTAS Lotus ART 1:59.025 13 0.332
10 3 J. CALADO Lotus ART 1:59.105 12 0.412
11 27 S. TRUMMER MW Arden 1:59.251 14 0.558
12 31 N. MELKER RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:59.284 13 0.591
13 6 I. LUKASHEVICH Status Grand Prix 1:59.322 14 0.629
14 1 P. NUNES Lotus ART 1:59.360 14 0.667
15 12 M. LAINE Marussia Manor Racing 1:59.375 14 0.682
16 11 R. HARYANTO Marussia Manor Racing 1:59.456 15 0.763
17 7 N. MULLER Jenzer Motorsport 1:59.496 13 0.803
18 30 M. CHRISTENSEN RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:59.542 12 0.849
19 15 D. MORAD Carlin 1:59.557 14 0.864
20 29 L. BACHETA RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:59.627 13 0.934
21 19 T. PAL KISS Tech 1 Racing 1:59.638 13 0.945
22 20 M. STOCKINGER Atech CRS GP 1:59.706 13 1.013
23 8 M. ZIMIN Jenzer Motorsport 1:59.765 14 1.072
24 16 L. CORDEIRO Carlin 1:59.791 15 1.98
25 14 C. DALY Carlin 1:59.817 14 1.124
26 21 N. YELLOLY Atech CRS GP 1:59.895 14 1.202
27 5 A. FELIX DA COSTA Status Grand Prix 1:59.920 13 1.227
28 9 V. GHIRELLI Jenzer Motorsport 2:00.011 13 1.318
29 18 T. HYLKEMA Tech 1 Racing 2:00.083 14 1.390
30 22 Z. AMBERG Atech CRS GP 2:00.434 13 1.741
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