Evans one step nearer to title with Monza pole

Mitch Evans

Mitch Evans has one hand on the GP3 Series championship trophy after flying to pole position in Qualifying today for Round 8 of the 2012 season. Series rival Antonio Felix Da Costa (Carlin) was just 0.020s shy of the New Zealander with David Fumanelli of MW Arden in third.

Gorgeous weather set the scene in the Monza paddock ahead of GP3 Qualifying on the day where the GP3 Series crown can be clinched. There was a flurry of action in the pitlane as the drivers ventured onto the circuit to set their installation laps and then the pace intensified. Tio Ellinas was first to set a hot lap, with Evans and William Buller also topping the timesheets in the early part of the 30 minute session.

Kevin Ceccon (Ocean Racing Technology) damaged his front wing when contact was made with the back of Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport). At the midway point of qualifying, Felix Da Costa posted the fastest time with Ellinas and Buller close in pursuit. With four minutes remaining on the clock, the Series leader went quickest by seven tenths of second, showing he meant business in his fight to pocket the extra four points on offer for the coveted pole position.

But Felix Da Costa wasn't ready to let the MW Arden ace have it all his own way and went P2, nearly matching the New Zealander's best efforts. The top two in the championship will start from the front row together in the season finale, with all eyes on becoming GP3 Series Champion.

Fumanelli in front of his home supporters, claimed P3, one of his best qualifying sessions of the year, ahead of teammate Matias Laine and Ellinas. Tamas Pal Kiss finished P6 but has a ten place grid penalty after practice, therefore he will drop to P16. Buller, Daniel Abt, Conor Daly and Niederhauser rounded out the top ten.

Race 1 takes place at 17.20 CET later today where Evans can become Champion this afternoon if he finishes first or second as he has a 25.5 points advantage over Felix Da Costa, make sure you don't miss it!

Qualifying – Monza

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Mitch Evans MW Arden 1:43.542 14
2. Antonio Felix Da Costa Carlin 1:43.562 15
3. David Fumanelli MW Arden 1:43.897 15
4. Matias Laine MW Arden 1:43.903 14
5. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:44.105 14
6. Tamas Pal Kiss* Atech CRS GP 1:44.186 14
7. William Buller Carlin 1:44.273 14
8. Daniel Abt Lotus GP 1:44.371 14
9. Conor Daly Lotus GP 1:44.433 14
10. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:44.452 13
11. Giovanni Venturini Trident Racing 1:44.516 14
12. Robert Visoiu Jenzer Motorsport 1:44.600 13
13. Aaro Vainio Lotus GP 1:44.668 14
14. Dmitry Suranovich Marussia Manor Racing 1:44.860 14
15. Robert Cregan Ocean Racing Technology 1:44.903 14
16. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:44.943 14
17. Lewis Williamson Status Grand Prix 1:44.960 14
18. Fabiano Machado Marussia Manor Racing 1:45.030 15
19. Alex Brundle Carlin 1:45.056 14
20. John Wartique Atech CRS GP 1:45.165 14
21. Kevin Ceccon Ocean Racing Technology 1:45.213 14
22. Alice Powell Status Grand Prix 1:45.303 15
23. Vicky Piria Trident Racing 1:45.659 14
24. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS GP 1:46.911 14
25. Carmen Jorda Ocean Racing Technology 1:49.400 12

*10 place grid penalty

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