Felix Da Costa flies to maiden GP3 pole in Barcelona

Carlin’s Antonio Felx Da Costa pockets first pole of the 2012 season

Portuguese driver Antonio Felix Da Costa started his 2012 campaign in style by taking pole position at the opening round of the GP3 Series in Spain. The Carlin’s driver best lap of 1:38.642.was faster than Conor Daly by 0.078s at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Qualifying was run in 23 degrees under the strong early morning sunshine with the new class of GP3 Series - full largely of rookies eager to make a positive first impression. MW Arden’s David Fumanelli was the first driver onto the circuit, with the other 25 drivers following hot in pursuit.

Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas headed the timesheets early on with Alex Brundle then setting an identical lap time with the drivers setting times in the 1’39s. Mitch Evans (MW Arden) then shot to P1, just 0.077s quicker at the midway point in front of Felix Da Costa, Daniel Abt and Marlon Stockinger..

With the drivers returning to the pits to make their final changes in the closing part of qualifying, the pressure was on to get a good and clear lap to gain the best qualifying position ready for Race 1 this evening. Lotus GP’s Daly took provisional pole with less than 5 minutes remaining until Jenzer Motorsport’s Patric Niederhauser went faster.

But it was to be Carlin Racing’s Felix Da Costa’s day, as he set the quickest time with a few minutes spare to line up on the front of the grid. Joining him on row one is Daly ahead of Aaro Vainio, Evans, Stockinger, Ellinas, Abt, Niederhauser, Matias Laine and Dmitry Suranovich. The top 15 drivers were covered by just one second, showing how fierce the competition is in this Series.

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