Sergey Sirotkin takes Auto GP pole on street debut in Marrakech

Euronova Racing's Sergey Sirotkin set pole position for the opening Auto GP World Series race in Marrakech, on his maiden visit to a street circuit

Sergey Sirotkin takes Auto GP pole on street debut in Marrakech

The Russian reverted to a trusted set-up in qualifying after problems in second free practice, and contended with two red flags in disrupted session.

"We came back to the set-up that we had in the first session a little bit, and it worked quite well," said Formula Abarth Europe champion Sirotkin. "Then we changed the car a little bit for the super-soft tyres, in order to optimise a really good lap with them, but because of the red flag we didn't put them on. It was just a really quick lap on the soft tyres. I also passed a car on that lap, so it I could have been even quicker."

Virtuosi UK's Pal Varhaug will join Sirotkin on the front row of Saturday's race. The Norwegian swapped fastest times with Italian Formula 3 champion Sergio Campana over the first half of the session. But Varhaug was shaded for pole by 0.078s when Sirtokin moved into first with 15 minutes of the half hour session remaining.

MLR71's Campana held on to take third, just 0.087s adrift of Sirotkin. Experienced Kiwi Chris van der Drift was fourth for MP Motorsport ahead of Super Nova's Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.

The British GP3 graduate was in commanding form during the final free practice session, but struggled to heat up the front tyres of his super-softs compound Kumhos in qualifying. In contrast to Sirotkin, the red flags prevented Quaife-Hobbs from returning to the more familiar soft compound tyres.

The first red flag was brought out after Campos Racing's Giuseppe Cipriani stopped at Turn 1 two thirds of the way into the session. Zele Racing's Giacommo Ricci caused the second stoppage with four minutes to run. The Italian GP2 race winner will start sixth.

A broken gearbox prevented Cipriani's Campos team-mate Max Snegirev from taking part in qualifying.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Sergey Sirotkin Euronova 1m29.305s 2. Pal Varhaug Virtuosi UK 1m29.383s + 0.078s 3. Sergio Campana MLR 71 1m29.392s + 0.087s 4. Chris van der Drift Manor MP 1m29.718s + 0.413s 5. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Super Nova 1m29.798s + 0.493s 6. Giacomo Ricci Zele 1m30.264s + 0.959s 7. Giancarlo Serenelli Ombra 1m30.355s + 1.050s 8. Victor Guerin Super Nova 1m30.462s + 1.157s 9. Facu Regalia Campos 1m30.588s + 1.283s 10. Daniel de Jong Manor MP 1m30.705s + 1.400s 11. Antonio Spavone Euronova 1m30.948s + 1.643s 12. Yann Cunha Ombra 1m31.350s + 2.045s 13. Giuseppe Cipriani Campos 1m31.366s + 2.061s 14. Francesco Dracone Virtuosi UK 1m32.536s + 3.231s 15. Michele la Rosa MLR 71 1m32.770s + 3.465s 
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Adrian Quaife-Hobbs quickest in second Marrakech Auto GP practice

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Series Auto GP
Author Peter Mills