Evans edges closer to title with pole
1 September 2012 – Mitch Evans has increased his GP3 championship lead by grabbing pole position at Spa on Saturday. The New Zealander will share the front row with MW Arden team-mate Matias Laine, with title rival Aaro Vainio of Finland down in seventh place for Lotus.
After a saturated day on Friday, the sun was shining in the Ardennes this morning. Posting a new GP3 lap record for Spa-Francorchamps, Evans – a very close friend of Red Bull’s Mark Webber – managed a best effort of 2:10.513. This edged out Laine by over two tenths of a second, with Daniel Abt the leading Lotus in third. Antonio Félix da Costa, 21 on Friday, completed the top five with Conor Daly.
With Evans having stormed to the top with two minutes left on the clock, Vainio missed out on sixth place by fractions but was a significant eighth tenths off pole. Lewis Williamson led the way for British honours, in sixth, as John Wartique returned from his heavy crash of practice to qualifying 25th of the 26 runners for his home weekend.
With just four races to go including the Monza finale of next weekend, Evans now holds a championship-leading cushion of 21 points over Vainio. Mathematically, the 18-year-old Kiwi could claim the crown in the Ardennes on Sunday.
Spa’s first race begins at 5:20pm local time (BST +1)