Albon pips Leclerc to take second Pole of year at Hockenheim

2016 GP3 Series Round 5 Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany Friday 29 July 2016. Alexander Albon (THA, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service. ref: Digital Image _SLA0672

GP3 Series points leader Alexander Albon took his second pole of the season around Hockenheim. The Thai driver beat his team-mate Charles Leclerc by eight-hundredths of a second, with the bonus points for pole position giving Albon a seven point lead heading into the weekend’s races.

Antonio Fuoco didn’t start the session in the best of moods after complaining about a set-up issue, before being called in for scrutineering. Meanwhile championship rival Leclerc went top as the drivers set their initial time.

It wasn’t long before Albon moved to the top of the standings as the track temperature increased. Behind him the field sorted out their positions, eventually diving into the pits. With a fairly clear race track, Matt Parry took the opportunity to one-up Albon and go top.

The second half the session saw drivers struggling under the pressure. Jake Dennis, Leclerc and Nirei Fukuzumi initially made a mistake, though Dennis returned on the following lap to take provisional pole. As his rivals struggled under pressure, Albon retook pole with two minutes to run.

Despite his mistake, Leclerc found space for another run, though it wasn’t enough to beat Albon who took his second pole position of the season. With both ART Grand Prix title contenders on the front row, the field set themselves up for an exciting encounter later this afternoon.

Behind them, Dennis was third after being pushed off the front row by the Monegasque driver, as Nyck De Vries was fourth. After a disastrous start to the session, Fuoco recovered to take fifth from early leader Parry, with Fukuzumi and Alex Palou rounding out the top eight.

2016 GP3 Series Hockenheim Qualifying Results

13Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix1m28.431
29Jake DennisGBRArden International1m28.518
34Nyck de VriesNEDART Grand Prix1m28.524
45Antonio FuocoITATrident1m28.618
51Charles LeclercMONART Grand PrixPenalty
614Matthew ParryGBRKoiranen GP1m28.638
72Nirei FukuzumiJPNART Grand Prix1m28.662
822Alex PalouESPCampos Racing1m28.838
923Steijn SchothorstNEDCampos Racing1m28.918
1011Jack AitkenGBRArden International1m28.935
118Sandy StuvikTHATrident1m28.944
1227Jake HughesGBRDAMS 1m29.052
1320Arjun MainiINDJenzer Motorsport1m29.076
1417Ralph BoschungSUIKoiranen GP1m29.126
157Giuliano AlesiFRATrident1m29.301
1626Santino FerrucciUSADAMS 1m29.311
1724Konstantin TereschenkoRUSCampos Racing1m29.107
186Artur JanoszPOLTrident1m29.383
1928Kevin J?rgSUIDAMS 1m29.542
2016Matevos IsaakyanRUSKoiranen GP1m29.665
2118Akash NandyMASJenzer Motorsport1m29.847
2210Tatiana CalderonCOLArden International1m29.895