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Daly claims maiden GP3 pole position in Valencia qualifying

by Peter Allen

Photo: Malcolm Griffiths/GP3 Media Service

Conor Daly secured his first ever GP3 pole position in qualifying for the standalone event at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

The American went top of the timesheets with a time of 1m22.329s shortly before Adderly Fong spun and stopped, causing a red flag with 1m55s left on the clock.

Many drivers went for a final attempt after the restart, but Daly’s time was not troubled. He finished up two tenths clear of Daniil Kvyat, who held top spot early on as the quickest of those to set a representative time before Ryan Cullen spun into the gravel exiting the first corner, bringing out the first red flag.

Nick Yelloly had top spot before Kvyat and Daly bettered him in the final minutes, relegating him to third ahead of Facu Regalia and Aaro Vainio, who had also both spent time on top during the second half of the session.

Vainio will be joined on the third row by Koiranen team-mate and practice pace-setter Kevin Korjus. Championship leader Tio Ellinas recovered from a slide into the gravel to get up into P2 while Regalia was on top before falling back to seventh where he will be joined on the fourth row by Marussia Manor team-mate Dino Zamparelli.

Carlos Sainz sat all the way down in 19th place, one second off the pace, when the session was red-flagged for the second time, but rescued himself up to ninth with his last effort. MW Arden team-mate Robert Visoiu completed the top ten.

Left outside the top ten in a close session were Jack Harvey, David Fumanelli, Lewis Williamson, Melville McKee and Giovanni Venturini, while Jenzer pair Patric Niederhauser and Alex Fontana finished a disappointing 16th and 17th respectively, even though they were both within seventh tenths of pole, such was the closeness of the session.

Qualifying results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Conor Daly ART Grand Prix 1:22.329   15
2. Daniil Kvyat MW Arden 1:22.536 0.207 16
3. Nick Yelloly Carlin 1:22.597 0.268 13
4. Facu Regalia ART Grand Prix 1:22.603 0.274 15
5. Aaro Vainio Koiranen GP 1:22.616 0.287 16
6. Kevin Korjus Koiranen GP 1:22.621 0.292 17
7. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:22.761 0.432 12
8. Dino Zamparelli Marussia Manor Racing 1:22.861 0.532 13
9. Carlos Sainz MW Arden 1:22.891 0.562 16
10. Robert Visoiu MW Arden 1:22.893 0.564 17
11. Jack Harvey ART Grand Prix 1:22.925 0.596 15
12. David Fumanelli Trident 1:22.936 0.607 15
13. Lewis Williamson Bamboo Engineering 1:22.948 0.619 14
14. Melville McKee Bamboo Engineering 1:22.954 0.625 15
15. Giovanni Venturini Trident 1:22.993 0.664 16
16. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:23.000 0.671 16
17. Alex Fontana Jenzer Motorsport 1:23.019 0.690 18
18. Adderly Fong Status Grand Prix 1:23.054 0.725 12
19. Patrick Kujala Koiranen GP 1:23.294 0.965 15
20. Eric Lichtenstein Carlin 1:23.364 1.035 15
21. Emanuele Zonzini Trident 1:23.524 1.195 15
22. Josh Webster Status Grand Prix 1:23.559 1.230 17
23. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1:23.878 1.549 15
24. Samin Gomez Jenzer Motorsport 1:24.322 1.993 18
25. Jimmy Eriksson Status Grand Prix 1:25.044 2.715 13
26. Carmen Jorda Bamboo Engineering 1:25.103 2.774 16
27. Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing 1:41.349 19.020