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Melker takes another GP3 pole

Nigel Melker takes pole at IstanbulNigel Melker has taken his second GP3 pole of the season following a tense qualifying session at Istanbul today.

The Mucke Motorsport driver secured the top spot with a stunning 1m46.361s lap just 90 seconds before the end of the session, which put the Dutchman 0.238s clear of nearest rival Esteban Gutierrez (ART) - a significant margin on a morning where positions were being decided by hundredths of a second.

Up to that point Gutierrez had looked fairly safe on top. The Mexican had led the session from the moment he bolted on his second set of tyres 15 minutes in, despite a brief scare when he found himself unable to select a gear while in the pits.

That problem was solved fairly quickly, and another one took care of itself when Manor's Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, who had looked like Gutierrez's biggest threat, spun and stalled at Turn 10 with just a couple of minutes remaining.

Melker's late flyer relegated Gutierrez to second, with Carlin's Dean Smith third. Quaife-Hobbs held on to fourth, just ahead of team-mate James Jakes.

It was a difficult morning for some of the other drivers, not least MW Arden's Michael Christensen, who will start from the back row after his car lost its right-rear wheel at Turn 3.

Pos  Driver                Team       Time       Gap
 1.  Nigel Melker          RSC Mucke  1m46.361s
 2.  Esteban Gutierrez     ART        1m46.599s  + 0.238s
 3.  Dean Smith            Carlin     1m46.728s  + 0.367s
 4.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs   Manor      1m46.823s  + 0.462s
 5.  James Jakes           Manor      1m46.900s  + 0.539s
 6.  Daniel Morad          Status     1m46.931s  + 0.570s
 7.  Felipe Guimaraes      Addax      1m46.987s  + 0.626s
 8.  Simon Trummer         Jenzer     1m47.074s  + 0.713s
 9.  Alexander Rossi       ART        1m47.111s  + 0.750s
10.  Tobias Hegewald       RSC Mucke  1m47.163s  + 0.802s
11.  Mirko Bortolotti      Addax      1m47.222s  + 0.861s
12.  Miki Monras           MW Arden   1m47.222s  + 0.861s
13.  Nico Muller           Jenzer     1m47.226s  + 0.865s
14.  Jim Pla               Tech 1     1m47.238s  + 0.877s
15.  Pal Varhaug           Jenzer     1m47.264s  + 0.903s
16.  Pablo Sanchez Lopez   Addax      1m47.287s  + 0.926s
17.  Leonardo Cordeiro     MW Arden   1m47.393s  + 1.032s
18.  Rio Haryanto          Manor      1m47.449s  + 1.088s
19.  Doru Sechelariu       Tech 1     1m47.494s  + 1.133s
20.  Oliver Oakes          Atech CRS  1m47.506s  + 1.145s
21.  Josef Newgarden       Carlin     1m47.638s  + 1.277s
22.  Robert Wickens        Status     1m47.665s  + 1.304s
23.  Stefano Coletti       Tech 1     1m47.732s  + 1.371s
24.  Mikhail Aleshin       Carlin     1m47.884s  + 1.523s
25.  Ivan Lukashevich      Status     1m47.892s  + 1.531s
26.  Patrick Reiterer      Atech CRS  1m48.234s  + 1.873s
27.  Pedro Nunes           ART        1m48.326s  + 1.965s
28.  Vittorio Ghirelli     Atech CRS  1m48.552s  + 2.191s
29.  Michael Christensen   MW Arden   1m48.857s  + 2.496s
30.  Renger van der Zande  RSC Mucke  1m49.171s  + 2.810s
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