Kevin Korjus topped the 30-minute GP3 qualifying session today, but will only start 11th after an infringement during yesterday’s free practice.
As a result, Marussia Manor racer Tio Ellinas claims pole position for this evening’s event.
Korjus spent much of the latter half of the session in the leading pack, along with Ellinas, Carlos Sainz Jr, Patric Niederhauser and Alex Fontana, with each setting impressive times.
However a late run was enough for the Estonian to pitch his Koiranen GP machine firmly on top – albeit prior to the penalty. Korjus’ pole lap of 1:34.193 – the first pole of the new GP3/13 era – was a clear 4.449s faster than last year’s pole set by Antonio Felix da Costa.
Niederhauser will start alongside Ellinas on the front row after he set the 3rd best time. Unfortunately, the 4th and 5th quickest qualifiers, Fontana and Sainz Jr, also received ten-place penalties, promoting Conor Daly to 3rd on the grid.
It was a frustrating session for Daly, who felt was blocked on his final run by Daniil Kvyat. As in pre-season testing, the American has been suffering with dramatic oversteer, exasperated by the growing Barcelona heat.
Penalties lift Kvyat to beside Daly on row two, while Nick Yelloly and Aaro Vainio round out the third row of the grid. ART Grand Prix pairing Facu Regalia and Jack Harvey will take up row four.
David Fumanelli set the initial pace, only to drop down the order as qualifying progressed.
There was a brief yellow flag toward the end of the session when Ryan Cullen overcooked his Marussia Manor in turn 10, beaching his Dallara onto the kerb.
2013 GP3 Series round of Barcelona (Rd 1, Qualifying) Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Kevin Korjus Koiranen 1m34.193s 2. Tio Ellinas Manor 1m34.233s + 0.040s 3. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer 1m34.444s + 0.251s 4. Alex Fontana Jenzer 1m34.581s + 0.388s 5. Carlos Sainz Jr MW Arden 1m34.635s + 0.442s 6. Conor Daly ART 1m34.810s + 0.617s 7. Daniil Kvyat MW Arden 1m34.989s + 0.796s 8. Nick Yelloly Carlin 1m35.111s + 0.918s 9. Aaro Vainio Koiranen 1m35.183s + 0.990s 10. Facu Regalia ART 1m35.206s + 1.013s 11. Jack Harvey ART 1m35.250s + 1.057s 12. Dino Zamparelli Manor 1m35.334s + 1.141s 13. David Fumanelli Trident 1m35.376s + 1.183s 14. Robert Visoiu MW Arden 1m35.408s + 1.215s 15. Jimmy Eriksson Status 1m35.458s + 1.265s 16. Giovanni Venturini Trident 1m35.533s + 1.340s 17. Lewis Williamson Bamboo 1m35.725s + 1.532s 18. Eric Lichtenstein Carlin 1m35.884s + 1.691s 19. Patrick Kujala Koiranen 1m36.031s + 1.838s 20. Adderly Fong Status 1m36.131s + 1.938s 21. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1m36.271s + 2.078s 22. Melville McKee Bamboo 1m36.464s + 2.271s 23. Emanuele Zonzini Trident 1m36.489s + 2.296s 24. Samin Gomez Jenzer 1m36.543s + 2.350s 25. Ryan Cullen Manor 1m37.004s + 2.811s 26. Josh Webster Status 1m37.030s + 2.837s 27. Carmen Jorda Bamboo 1m38.574s + 4.381s