GP2 Asia: Grosjean takes Abu Dhabi pole

By on Thursday, February 10, 2011

Romain Grosjean will be starting from pole position in the GP2 Asia Series season-opening race in Abu Dhabi on Friday, having registered the quickest lap time in Thursday’s qualifying session. With the DAMS driver some four tenths of a second quicker, Jules Bianchi and Davide Valsecchi are next up for Lotus ART and AirAsia.

A couple of hours following today’s first practice session of the fourth GP2 Asia Series, the twenty-six cars were back in action in Abu Dhabi for the qualifying session. After only three laps, Grosjean set the pace in 1:36.568 with Valsecchi a shy tenth slower. Also on his third lap, Bianchi went top, but it was only temporarily as Grosjean improved even further and went two tenths quicker than his fellow countryman.

At mid-session, with most of the cars back in the pits, Grosjean was leading Bianchi, Marcus Ericsson, Davide Valsecchi, earlier quickest man Josef Kral, Dani Clos and GP3 Series Champion Esteban Gutierrez. When the cars took back to the track, Clos at Racing Engineering moved up to P3 before eventually being edged out by Valsecchi.

Meanwhile, Grosjean would not let anyone steal pole from him today, improving his best lap time and setting a four tenth gap between him and Bianchi. Clearly on par with Grosjean’s pace, Bianchi put his head down and started to push to reduce said gap, but not only did he get stuck in traffic in his third sector but he also went wide one time too many making it impossible to snatch pole from the Dams’ racer.

Behind the top three, Clos, Giedo van der Garde, Ericsson, Carlin’s Max Chilton, Kral, Gutierrez and newcomer Nathanael Berthon at Racing Engineering rounded up the top ten.

Pos  Driver               Team                Time       Gap
 1.  Romain Grosjean      DAMS                1m36.041s
 2.  Jules Bianchi        ART                 1m36.448s  + 0.407s
 3.  Davide Valsecchi     AirAsia             1m36.501s  + 0.460s
 4.  Dani Clos            Racing Engineering  1m36.614s  + 0.573s
 5.  Giedo van der Garde  Addax               1m36.658s  + 0.617s
 6.  Marcus Ericsson      iSport              1m36.659s  + 0.618s
 7.  Max Chilton          Carlin              1m36.693s  + 0.652s
 8.  Josef Kral           Arden               1m36.724s  + 0.683s
 9.  Esteban Gutierrez    ART                 1m36.741s  + 0.700s
10.  Nathanael Berthon    Racing Engineering  1m36.825s  + 0.784s
11.  Sam Bird             iSport              1m36.830s  + 0.789s
12.  Michael Herck        Coloni              1m36.863s  + 0.822s
13.  Oliver Turvey        Ocean               1m36.875s  + 0.834s
14.  Charles Pic          Addax               1m36.961s  + 0.920s
15.  Fabio Leimer         Rapax               1m37.047s  + 1.006s
16.  Johnny Cecotto       Super Nova          1m37.129s  + 1.088s
17.  Julian Leal          Rapax               1m37.145s  + 1.104s
18.  Jolyon Palmer        Arden               1m37.305s  + 1.264s
19.  Stefano Coletti      Trident             1m37.329s  + 1.288s
20.  Andrea Caldarelli    Ocean               1m37.345s  + 1.304s
21.  Luiz Razia           AirAsia             1m37.426s  + 1.385s
22.  Mikhail Aleshin      Carlin              1m37.535s  + 1.494s
23.  Fairuz Fauzy         Super Nova          1m37.572s  + 1.531s
24.  Pal Varhaug          DAMS                1m37.632s  + 1.591s
25.  Rodolfo Gonzalez     Trident             1m37.669s  + 1.628s
26.  James Jakes          Coloni              1m37.741s  + 1.700s

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