Leclerc powers to pole in Spa-Francorchamps

Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc

Series leader Charles Leclerc from ART Grand Prix showed his dominance in today’s qualifying session for Round 6 of the 2016 GP3 Series season at Spa-Francorchamps: the Scuderia Ferrari Team development driver posted a best laptime of 2:04.896 which was three tenths clear of his nearest rival and faster than last year’s pole position time set by Luca Ghiotto. DAMS’ Jake Hughes was second ahead of McLaren protege Nyck de Vries.

It was another warm start to proceedings at the Belgian track and it was Dutchman De Vries who was first to head the timings on the first run. The ART Grand Prix rookie lapped two tenths quicker than Hughes and Arden International’s Jake Dennis to lead the field early on.

At the midway point, all of the drivers returned to the pitlane to switch to new Pirelli rubber with the soft compound nominated for this event. 1s was covering the top 17 drivers; showing how closely fought the battle for a good grid spot was going to be.

Hughes began his push lap, with Leclerc hot in pursuit with the Briton clocking the fastest time of the session, albeit for a matter of seconds before the Monegasque driver claimed P1. Leclerc had lit sectors one and two in purple and lapped three tenths faster than the DAMS driver.

The positions remained fairly stagnant behind as the drivers tried to improve but it was to no avail as Leclerc celebrated his second pole in GP3 at the checkered flag. Hughes fresh from his race win in Hockenheim joined the ART Grand Prix ace on the front row ahead of De Vries, Trident’s Antonio Fuoco, Kevin Joerg, Koiranen GP’s Matthew Parry, Jenzer Motorsport’s Arjun Maini, Sandy Stuvik, Santino Ferrucci and Campos Racing’s Alex Palou.

Leclerc’s pole position has gained him a further four valuable points in the title battle; meaning he has extended his advantage over teammate Alexander Albon to seven points after the Thai qualified down in P17.

Race 1 takes place today at 17.15 (GMT+2) with a chance of rain forecast for the race.

Qualifying

Pos

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Charles Leclerc

ART Grand Prix

2:04.896

11

2.

Jake Hughes

DAMS

2:05.259

11

3.

Nyck de Vries

ART Grand Prix

2:05.393

11

4.

Antonio Fuoco

Trident

2:05.448

11

5.

Kevin Joerg

DAMS

2:05.612

11

6.

Matthew Parry

Koiranen GP

2:05.653

11

7.

Arjun Maini

Jenzer Motorsport

2:05.661

11

8.

Sandy Stuvik

Trident

2:05.758

11

9.

Santino Ferrucci

DAMS

2:05.852

11

10.

Alex Palou

Campos Racing

2:05.880

11

11.

Nirei Fukuzumi

ART Grand Prix

2:06.012

12

12.

Matevos Isaakyan

Koiranen GP

2:06.145

11

13.

Jake Dennis

Arden International

2:06.179

11

14.

Jack Aitken

Arden International

2:06.185

12

15.

Steijn Schothorst

Campos Racing

2:06.201

12

16.

Oscar Tunjo

Jenzer Motorsport

2:06.282

11

17.

Alexander Albon

ART Grand Prix

2:06.421

12

18.

Artur Janosz

Trident

2:06.531

12

19.

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

2:06.740

12

20.

Konstantin Tereschenko

Campos Racing

2:06.769

11

21.

Niko Kari

Koiranen GP

2:06.772

11

22.

Tatiana Calderon

Arden International

2:06.900

12

23.

Akash Nandy

Jenzer Motorsport

2:07.086

12

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