Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took his second GP3 Series™ pole position for Marussia Manor Racing in the final seconds of qualifying at Autodromo Nazionale Monza today. The British driver finished 0.062 seconds ahead of Nico Müller who was on course to take his maiden pole position of the season for Jenzer Motorsport.
When the lights went green all thirty cars fed out the track on slick tires for the early morning session. Rio Haryanto was the early pace setter for Marussia Manor Racing, and except for a brief spell at the top for Series leader Valtteri Bottas it was the Indonesian who led the way for the first half of the session. Title contender Alexander Sims was the first to better Haryanto’s time going 0.050 seconds quicker than the Manor driver, but was soon bumped down the order by Bottas and Haryanto who moved back on top.
Midway through qualifying Bottas had regained P1 before the field made their way back into the pits for fresh rubber and last attempt at snatching the top spot. It was all about who could get that all important tow around the high-speed Italian track. With the session coming to a close Haryanto was still looking strong at the top until Nico Müller went quicker on his final attempt at pole. With the rest of field unable to match the Jenzer driver’s pace it looked he had done enough, but Quaife-Hobbs put together the perfect last gasp lap to bag pole.
Muller ended the session second followed by Haryanto, Mitch Evans and the Lotus ART duo of Bottas and James Calado. Sims qualified 11th and Nigel Melker 13th.
GP3 Series will be back on track this afternoon for Race 1 of the weekend at 17:20 local time.
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