Trident’s David Beckmann claimed his second pole position in a week as GP3 saw its first action of the weekend in Italy.
Beckmann, in only his third round for Trident, took advantage of his new found confidence to set a time of 1:37.959 late on in a fascinating qualifying session at Monza.
Qualifying is always close at Monza with the slipstream usually being important but the session started with a threat of rain in the air. That rain appeared as the second runs began with about 12 minutes of the session remaining. At this stage, it looked as if Russian Nikita Mazepin would be taking his first GP3 pole position as the circuit started to become slippery. Many drivers took to the escape road at the second chicane, including home favourite Leonardo Pulcini.
With qualifying looking set, the rain stopped and the track dried quickly with drivers starting to set fastest sectors. Now was the time to take advantage as most drivers attempted to and the pole position changing hands numerous times.
Beckmann timed his lap to perfection leaving no chance for a response from his competitors, with championship leader Anthoine Hubert joining him on the front row, only 0.011 seconds behind. Italian Leonardo Pulcini gave the home fans something to cheer about with third on the grid to bounce back from his zero score in Spa.
Jenzer Motorsport had their best qualifying session of the season with American Juan Manuel Correa leading the team’s charge with fourth on the grid, whilst Tatiana Calderon claimed eighth to place two Jenzer’s in the top eight.
Ferrari Academy driver Guiliano Alesi will start fifth, on the circuit where his father was adored by the Italian crowd when he raced for Ferrari, ahead of fellow Academy driver and championship contender Callum Ilott, who will be disappointed to be so far behind rival Hubert after being ahead of him for most of the session.
Seventh on the grid goes to the third Trident Ryan Tveter ahead of Calderon whilst Pedro Piquet made it four Tridents in the top ten for the team’s home race. Niko Kari completes the top ten on the grid for MP Motorsport.
The two ART’s of Nikita Mazepin and Jake Hughes slipped down the order late on and will be disappointed with 11th and 12th on the grid after being strong contenders for pole in the opening half of the session.