Italian Luca Ghiotto stormed to pole position in the first qualifying session of the 2015 GP3 Series season at Barcelona.
Ghiotto’s pace was clear to see early on in the session as the Italian set a blistering time on his first run of 1m35.469s, which was six tenths faster than the previous pace-setter, Mitch Gilbert.
Ghiotto would have gone even faster after lighting up the timing screens in the first and second sectors with fresh tyres. But the Trident man was blocked at the final chicane which meant he had to back off, much to his displeasure.
Fortunately for Ghiotto no-one could better his initial time and the Italian picked up his first points of the season.
Series rookie Esteban Ocon, who set the initial fastest time, was Ghiotto’s closest rival for most of the session.
The ART Grand Prix driver came within 0.139s of pole-sitter Ghiotto on his second run but couldn’t find any open track to try and improve.
Ocon was closely followed by two more series rookies in Arden International driver Emil Bernstorff and Campos Racing‘s Alex Palou.
Bernstorff jumped up to third in the closing stages while Palou, at his home race, had been running at the top before the times began to tumble.
Matheo Tuscher also had an impressive first qualifying session for Jenzer Motorsport in fifth ahead of the two ART’s of Marvin Kirchhofer and Alfonso Celis Jr.
Ghiotto’s Trident team-mate Oscar Tunjo finished the session in eighth. Ahead of Pal Varhaug and the Koiranen GP of Jimmy Eriksson who rounded out the top ten.
The session was briefly interrupted by yellow flags after Anonio Fuoco beached his Carlin in the gravel in the closing stages. This hampered some drivers, who were on flying laps, from improving their position.