Mitch Evans took a small but significant step toward the GP3 Series title by scoring four points for pole position at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday morning. This extends his championship lead to 21 over closest rival Aaro Vainio.
The session began on a mainly dry track with damp patches after Friday's torrential rain. Vainio started the session well, setting the early pace, with Lotus team-mate Daniel Abt then taking over at the top.
As the track dried, and rubber went down, it was clear that it would be the final laps that decided the grid. With two minutes remaining, Evans laid down what would be the pole time of 2m10.513s. Although relatively slow in sector one, his stunning sector two time was well clear of his rivals, and he clearly made the difference through the Les Combes, Rivage, Pouhon and Fagnes corners.
Matias Laine made it an MW Arden one-two, his last-gasp lap time 0.225 seconds slower than Evans, but pipped Abt by a matter of hundredths. Abt's hopes of improving were ruined by traffic at the final corner of his last lap.
Title outsider Antonio Felix da Costa will start fourth for Carlin, ahead of Conor Daly's Lotus car. Lewis Williamson enjoyed his best session since returning to the series with Status, and will start sixth.
Vainio's title hopes now hang by a thread. He starts seventh, 0.853sec slower than his rival, with just four races to turn around what is the biggest points lead of the season.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Mitch Evans MW Arden 2m10.513s
2. Matias Laine MW Arden 2m10.738s + 0.225s
3. Daniel Abt Lotus 2m10.754s + 0.241s
4. Antonio Felix da Costa Carlin 2m10.980s + 0.467s
5. Conor Daly Lotus 2m11.064s + 0.551s
6. Lewis Williamson Status 2m11.320s + 0.807s
7. Aaro Vainio Lotus 2m11.366s + 0.853s
8. Giovanni Venturini Trident 2m11.382s + 0.869s
9. Alex Fontana Jenzer 2m11.397s + 0.884s
10. Tio Ellinas Manor 2m11.501s + 0.988s
11. Marlon Stockinger Status 2m11.541s + 1.028s
12. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer 2m11.637s + 1.124s
13. Vicky Piria Trident 2m11.723s + 1.210s
14. Will Buller Carlin 2m11.742s + 1.229s
15. Kevin Ceccon Ocean 2m11.746s + 1.233s
16. David Fumanelli MW Arden 2m11.804s + 1.291s
17. Alex Brundle Carlin 2m12.224s + 1.711s
18. Robert Visoiu Jenzer 2m12.410s + 1.897s
19. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS 2m12.508s + 1.995s
20. Alice Powell Status 2m12.530s + 2.017s
21. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS 2m12.713s + 2.200s
22. Robert Cregan Ocean 2m12.765s + 2.252s
23. Dmitry Suranovich Manor 2m12.886s + 2.373s
24. Fabiano Machado Manor 2m12.917s + 2.404s
25. John Wartique Atech CRS 2m13.478s + 2.965s
26. Carmen Jorda Ocean 2m18.719s + 8.206s