Pierre Gasly ended his GP2 qualifying session strong as he stole pole position for the first race of the weekend, held in support of the Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain.
Gasly clocked a best lap time of 1:39.572 to narrowly beat out his closest rival, Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, for the leading grid spot. Vandoorne of ART Grand Prix was a mere 0.040secs behind.Italian Raffaele Marciello of Trident qualified third 0.076secs back.
Set to begin the weekend’s feature race from fourth through eighth position, respectively, were Briton Alex Lynn (+0.089secs) of Dams, his countryman Jordan King (+0.330secs) of Racing Engineering, Frenchman Norman Nato (+0.432secs) of Arden International, Kiwi Mitch Evans (+0.455secs) of Russian Time and Vandoorne’s ART teammate, Japanese driver Nobuharu Matsushita (+0.507secs).
Earlier in the day in the GP2 free practice, Gasly was third fastest as Racing Engineering’s American ace Alexander Rossi set the pace with a best lap of 1:41.180. Vandoorne followed +0.033secs slower while Gasly was +0.050secs behind.
Esteban Ocon of ART Grand Prix topped GP3 qualifying to secure pole for the weekend’s feature race.
Ocon registered a fastest lap of 1:46.684 on his penultimate run in the session. He was a second-a-half quicker than the rest of the field, with Italian Luca Ghitto of Trident finishing second 0.504secs adrift. His countryman Kevin Ceccon of Arden International qualified in third place 0.513secs behind.
Campos Racing’s Alex Palou from Spain was fourth, ART’s Marvin Kirchhofer from Germany fifth, and Trident’s Artur Janosz from Poland sixth. The British pair of Emil Bernstorff of Arden and Jann Mardenborough of Carlin were in seventh and eighth, respectively.
In the free practice earlier in the day, Ocon was also the pacesetter setting a best lap of 1:47.121. Briton Matthew Parry of Koiranen GP was 0.343secs slower, while Italian Antonio Fuoco of Carlin finished third 0.678secs back.