Red Bull Ring GP3: Luca Ghiotto takes second straight pole position

Luca Ghiotto claimed his second consecutive GP3 pole position in a dramatic qualifying session for the second round of the series at the Red Bull Ring

Red Bull Ring GP3: Luca Ghiotto takes second straight pole position

The Trident driver had a slow start to qualifying while others, including Mitch Gilbert, Alex Palou, Marvin Kirchhofer and Esteban Ocon traded fastest times.

But he started to make inroads into the top 10 with 19 minutes remaining, first jumping to fourth and then displacing Palou from first place just over a minute later.

That gave him provisional pole at the halfway mark, and it was a similar story on the second runs as various drivers took turns up front before Ghiotto asserted himself.

In the closing stages of the session, championship leader Ocon had top spot with a lap of 1.19.55s, only for Ghiotto to go 0.205s faster.

This was thanks to the fastest time of the session in the first and second sectors, with a tow over the line from Seb Morris helping him to top spot.

Ocon held on to second place ahead of Palou, who looked to be on a lap that might have put him fastest late on before spinning at the final corner and kissing the barrier.

Kirchhofer took fourth place ahead of Emil Bernstoff - the top five covered by just 0.473s.

Koiranen GP Matt Parry will start in sixth place ahead of Status Grand Prix's Sandy Stuvik, who popped into the upper echelons of the timesheets relatively late in the session.

Jimmy Eriksson and Gilbert, who had promising starts to the session, rounded out the top 10.

Several drivers who were expected to challenge for the top 10 ended up having disappointing sessions.

Free-practice pacesetter Jann Mardenborough qualified 12th, although in the season-opener at Barcelona two weeks ago he drove two strong races to come through the field so he won't be too discouraged.

Alex Fontana ended up in 15th, the slowest of those within a second of pole position.

Oscar Tunjo had a difficult session, ending up 17th after a late start having spent time sat in the pitlane with the rear bodywork off the car.

He then parked in the gravel late on while trying to climb the order.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Luca Ghiotto Trident 1m19.350s -
2 Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 1m19.555s 0.205s
3 Alex Palou Campos Racing 1m19.624s 0.274s
4 Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 1m19.803s 0.453s
5 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 1m19.823s 0.473s
6 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 1m19.877s 0.527s
7 Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 1m19.970s 0.620s
8 Antonio Fuoco Carlin 1m19.977s 0.627s
9 Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1m20.127s 0.777s
10 Mitch Gilbert Carlin 1m20.130s 0.780s
11 Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 1m20.144s 0.794s
12 Jann Mardenborough Carlin 1m20.175s 0.825s
13 Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1m20.296s 0.946s
14 Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 1m20.333s 0.983s
15 Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 1m20.346s 0.996s
16 Artur Janosz Trident 1m20.379s 1.029s
17 Oscar Tunjo Trident 1m20.399s 1.049s
18 Kevin Ceccon Arden International 1m20.404s 1.054s
19 Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1m20.431s 1.081s
20 Adderly Fong Koiranen GP 1m20.776s 1.426s
21 Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 1m20.787s 1.437s
22 Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 1m20.927s 1.577s
23 Alex Bosak Arden International 1m21.172s 1.822s
24 Samin Gomez Campos Racing 1m21.770s 2.420s

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