GP3 Series

Evans Beats Vainio To GP3 Pole At A Dry Silverstone

2 Mins read
Mitch Evans - Photo Credit: GP3 Media Service

After the non-stop rain of Friday, there was a dry start to Saturday's action at Silverstone for GP3 qualifying, where Mitch Evans beat Aaro Vainio to top spot as the two championship rivals once again headed the field.

Evans, who led Vainio by four points coming into the weekend and beat the Finn to victory in Valencia two weeks ago, finished up 0.324 seconds ahead to claim his second pole position of the season.

Conor Daly led the way for much of the session until he was displaced by Antonio Felix Da Costa. Vainio then took top spot before Evans moved ahead in the final minute of the session.

The Kiwi had earlier been under investigation for speeding in the pitlane, while Vainio set a purple sector on his best effort while there was a yellow flag out.

Felix Da Costa was good enough for third, with Evans' MW Arden teammate Matias Laine in fourth place. Daly posted the fifth fastest time, but he will get a ten-place grid penalty for causing a collision at the start of the second Valencia race.

Daniel Abt was sixth in the third and final Lotus GP car, ahead of Ocean Racing Technology's Kevin Ceccon. William Buller was eighth for Carlin, but the Northern Irishman had been as high as second.

Kotaro Sakurai set an impressive ninth-fastest time at the end of the session, the Japanese driver making a strong return after missing Valencia due to budget issues and ending up the best of the three drivers from the locally-based Status Grand Prix team.

David Fumanelli was tenth, ahead of Tamas Pal Kiss, who will have a ten-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags in free practice on Friday when he was second fastest.

Alex Brundle was 12th, but like teammate Buller he was amongst the fastest at one point. Tio Ellinas finished up 13th after stopping on track, ahead of debutants Facu Regalia and Giovanni Venturini who were the fastest drivers from the Jenzer and Trident teams respectively.

Venturini's new teammate Vicky Piria impressed with the 16th best time, ahead of fellow female racer Alice Powell. Jenzer teammates Robert Visoiu and Patric Niederhauser were 18th and 19th, Valencia winner Niederhauser spinning and stalling at Club late in the session before getting going again.

Dmitry Suranovich was 20th, with Antonio Spavone 21st and Fabiano Machado 22nd. Debutant Fabio Gamberini was 23rd, ahead of Robert Cregan. Marlon Stockinger, the man fifth in the standings, could only manage 25th. Ethan Ringel was 26th, but like his Atech CRS teammate Pal Kiss will be demoted after spinning under yellows in practice, while Carmen Jorda was 27th and last and not within 107%, eight seconds off the pace.

Although the track was largely dry, there was a puddle on the racing line between Becketts and Chapel that caused a number of drivers to run wide off-track, and in Jorda's case, spin.

The first race takes place at 16:20.

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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