Sirotkin takes Marrakech AutoGP pole

Sergey Sirotkin will start from pole position in tomorrow’s Race 1 on the Marrakech Moulay El Hassan circuit. The Russian driver of Euronova Racing was quickest in a session that was stopped two times in the last 10 minutes, spoiling the plans of teams and drivers: the red flag was waved a first time after Yann Cunha stopped on track for a technical issue with 10 minutes to go, and again when also Giacomo Ricci’s car came to a halt with just 5 minutes to the end of the session. This meant that nobody could really make the most of the last third of the session and of the second set of Supersoft tyres, and pole was decided by the times posted in the first 20 minutes.Up to that point, Sergey Sirotkin had been quickest after a very close fight with Pål Varhaug and Sergio Campana. The three exchanged positions many times throughout the session until minute 17, when Sirotkin stopped the clock on a 1’29”305 that ultimately gave him pole. Sergey was very happy about the result, but reckoned he could have gone even quicker: “I told you that I liked the track, and now I like it even more! I knew that I had the speed to battle for pole, but what happened with the red flags changed everybody’s plans and made things a bit unpredictable. I didn’t even manage to make the most of my Supersofts because I picked up some dirt while avoiding the stranded cars, I’m sure that in a normal situation I could have been much quicker. Anyway I’m starting from pole and that’s all that counts on a street circuit”.Varhaug was second, but had to abort a quick lap (best time in Sector 2) due to the red flag: “Starting on the front row is important on a track where overtaking is really difficult, so I’m quite satisfied. Obviously I could have been quicker but those red flags really ruined my plans. I couldn’t use my second set of supersofts, and I’m sure that I would have improved because my quickest lap with the first set wasn’t a perfect one”.Campana, third placed at the end, also had to back off from a very good lap due to the first red flag: “It was a real pity, I was quickest in Sector 1 and that lap could really give me pole position. Then when the session was restarted I had another shot at it but I did some mistakes in the second part of the track, locking the front tyres in a couple of brakings, and that was it. It’s a pity because front row would have been better, but I’ll try to make up for that with a great start tomorrow”.Chris Van der Drift was fourth after a whole session in the top spots of the timesheets, and ended qualifying ahead of Adrian Quaife-Hobbs: in the first part of the session the Briton couldn’t match the same pace he had in the second Practice, and the red flags were really bad news for him. He will start from 3rd row with Giacomo Ricci alongside him.Best Auto GP qualifying so far for Giancarlo Serenelli, who clinched P7 ahead of Victor Guerin, Facu Regalia and Daniel de Jong.

Marrakech, Qualifying1     Sergey SIROTKIN             Euronova Racing              1:29.305

2     Pål VARHAUG                  Virtuosi UK                      1:29.383

3     Sergio CAMPANA              MLR 71                          1:29.392

4     Chris VAN DER DRIFT       Manor MP Motorsport        1:29.718

5     Adrian QUAIFE-HOBBS      Supernova International     1:29.798

6     Giacomo RICCI                Zele Racing                      1:30.264

7     Giancarlo SERENELLI        Ombra Racing                   1:30.355

8     Victor GUERIN                 Supernova International     1:30.462

9     Facu REGALIA                  Campos Racing                1:30.588

10  Daniel DE JONG               Manor MP Motorsport        1:30.705

11  Antonio SPAVONE            Euronova Racing               1:30.948

12  Yann CUNHA                   Ombra Racing                  1:31.350

13  Giuseppe CIPRIANI          Campos Racing                 1:31.366

14  Francesco DRACONE         Virtuosi UK                      1:32.536

15  Michele LA ROSA              MLR 71                           1:32.770

16   Max SNEGIREV               Campos Racing                  1:37.096

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