Stanaway storms to first GP3 pole in Budapest

Status Grand Prix’s Richie Stanaway holds off Alex Lynn for pole in Hungary

Kiwi Richie Stanaway claimed his maiden pole position in GP3 today, narrowly edging out Series leader from Carlin, Alex Lynn by a mere 0.035s. Nick Yelloly also from Status Grand Prix was in third making it an excellent start to proceedings for the green and black outfit.

Hot temperatures set the scene for the thirty minute qualifying session at the Hungaroring for Round 5 of the 2014 GP3 Series. ART Grand Prix’s Dino Zamparelli was the first driver to lap in the 1m33’s to go P1 by almost half a second with his teammate Alex Fontana his nearest rival.

There were small spins for Sebastian Balthasar, Mathéo Tuscher and Riccardo Agostini with all drivers avoiding contact with barriers, thus able to continue. Red Bull Junior team driver Lynn had set the fastest sector one but at the midway point of the session the Brit was in an unusual position of a lowly P24. His nearest rival in the Series Jimmy Eriksson was only place higher in qualifying at the midway point but got his head down and the Swede shot up to P3.

The Status Grand Prix duo of Yelloly and Stanaway went P2 and P3, with the Brit two tenths off Zamparelli’s best effort. Marussia Manor Racing’s Patrick Kujala rose to P2 whilst Zamparelli further improved on his quickest lap to increase his advantage at the head of the timesheet.

It was all change at the top over the next few minutes with Arden International’s Robert Visoiu posting the best lap, until Lynn jumped from P24 to provisional pole, a tenth faster than the Romanian. There was more excitement to come though with Stanaway setting the fastest time of the session in a 1:33.553.

With 2 minutes and 55 seconds left on the clock the session was red flagged when Alfonso Celis. Jr stopped after contact at with the barrier at Turn 5 and his car was in a dangerous position. Roman De Beer had also spun in a separate incident. Fontana had been on a flier on that lap and had to back off for the red flag with many others driver facing the same predicament on their push laps.

The drivers formed a large queue in the pitlane as they were eager to get back onto the circuit for one final attempt in the fight for pole. Yelloly lit the middle sector purple to move up to P3 but the session would belong to Stanaway at the chequered flag. Behind Stanaway, Lynn and Yelloly were Visoiu, Zamparelli, Emil Bernstorff, Patric Niederhauser, Fontana, Kujala and Marvin Kirchhöfer.

Race 1 takes place later today at 16:20 local time as the quest for supremacy continues.