Paul Ricard GP3: Dorian Boccolacci takes first pole for him and MP

Dorian Boccolacci scored a maiden pole position for his home GP3 event at Paul Ricard, meaning dominant team ART Grand Prix has been thwarted in qualifying at two consecutive rounds

Paul Ricard GP3: Dorian Boccolacci takes first pole for him and MP

Campos Racing's Leonardo Pulcini ended a spell of over a year where ART cars sat on pole position for GP3 races at Barcelona in April, and Boccolacci extended the run further taking MP Motorsport's first pole in its debut year in the GP3 Series.

He was the last frontrunner to set a lap, and unseated ART's home favourite Anthoine Hubert, the French fans cheering as its drivers fill out the top three spots on the grid for Saturday's race.

Hubert and Giuliano Alesi, son of France's leading 1990s Formula 1 hope Jean, were less than a tenth behind Boccolacci in a thrilling battle where multiple drivers in a variety of teams challenged, and the top 10 was covered by less than 0.6 seconds.

Trident driver Alesi - a winner in the opening round at Barcelona - narrowly fended off another ART entry, of Barcelona feature race winner Nikita Mazepin. Pulcini rounded out the top five.

Niko Kari constantly ran just in front of his team-mate Boccolacci on the road, but couldn't match the Frenchman's epic improvement on the final run - although he did leap into the top six.

Callum Ilott led after the first instalment of quick laps before drivers regrouped in the pits, but could only manage seventh with a moment at the final turn hampering his progress.

Alessio Lorandi, Pedro Piquet and Joey Mawson rounded out the top 10.

Lorandi and Piquet had been further forward earlier on, as had Mawson who went as high as third for Arden. All three were shuffled back in the late running.

Just outside the top 10, Renault protege Christian Lundgaard impressed on his debut.

He was only 0.6s slower than pole in 11th, having not driven the car before Friday practice after replacing Will Palmer in a one-off.

Lundgaard currently sits second in the Formula Renault Eurocup standings with the same MP Motorsport team.

ART's Jake Hughes again qualified outside the top 10 as he did at Barcelona. He had struggled at the previous round to get heat into his tyres.

Qualifying result

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Dorian Boccolacci MP Motorsport 1m50.615s -
2 Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix 1m50.697s 0.082s
3 Giuliano Alesi Trident 1m50.708s 0.093s
4 Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 1m50.861s 0.246s
5 Leonardo Pulcini Campos Racing 1m50.880s 0.265s
6 Niko Kari MP Motorsport 1m50.900s 0.285s
7 Callum Ilott ART Grand Prix 1m50.904s 0.289s
8 Alessio Lorandi Trident 1m51.108s 0.493s
9 Pedro Piquet Trident 1m51.134s 0.519s
10 Joey Mawson Arden International 1m51.180s 0.565s
11 Christian Lundgaard MP Motorsport 1m51.266s 0.651s
12 Jake Hughes ART Grand Prix 1m51.308s 0.693s
13 Tatiana Calderon Jenzer Motorsport 1m51.338s 0.723s
14 David Beckmann Jenzer Motorsport 1m51.409s 0.794s
15 Ryan Tveter Trident 1m51.450s 0.835s
16 Juan Manuel Correa Jenzer Motorsport 1m51.470s 0.855s
17 Simo Laaksonen Campos Racing 1m51.614s 0.999s
18 Gabriel Aubry Arden International 1m51.631s 1.016s
19 Julien Falchero Arden International 1m51.758s 1.143s
20 Diego Menchaca Campos Racing 1m51.797s 1.182s


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