F2

Valencia: Series race one qualifying report

Robert Wickens claims first pole position of 2009 season Top 15 drivers separated by less than a second Canadian Robert Wickens took pole position for the first round of the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship at Valencia, Spain, ahead of ...

Robert Wickens claims first pole position of 2009 season

Top 15 drivers separated by less than a second

Canadian Robert Wickens took pole position for the first round of the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship at Valencia, Spain, ahead of Tobias Hegewald and Andy Soucek.

Wickens set his time early in the session, claiming the top spot by just 0.014s. The Red Bull driver was on an even quicker lap in the final moments, but was caught in traffic during the final sector.

Tobias Hegewald was extremely close to a maiden pole, but had to settle for second on the grid after setting his fastest time on his first flying lap. Andy Soucek was just over a tenth behind in third, with the Spaniard admitting to being too conservative during his quickest run.

Soucek's late lap pushed Brazilian Carlos Iaconelli down to fourth after he had been in the top three for much of the session. Russian Mikhail Aleshin was fifth and Julien Jousse enjoyed his best session of the weekend so far - he will start tomorrow's season opener from sixth. Aleshin and Jousse set idenitical times around the 2.5 mile circuit.

Edoardo Piscopo, who had set the fastest time in final practice earlier today, was seventh whilst Serbian Milos Pavlovic was eighth. 2009 will be the first full season of racing for Kazim Vasiliauskas and the 18-year-old Lithaunian impressed by taking ninth place, with Henry Surtees rounding out the top ten.

The whole field was evenly matched, with less than a second covering the top 15 drivers. There were a few incidents during the session, most notably when Jack Clarke went off on the run down to turn twelve - ending a promising start to qualifying for the young Briton.

Robert Wickens: "It's definitely an honour to take the first pole position in Formula Two. All through testing and practice I've been relatively quick so it's nice to say I got the first pole of the year, but it's the first race of a long season so I've just got to get my head down and focus on the rest of the weekend. I don't want to give too much away but perhaps I could have gone faster; in the end though my lap was good enough for pole position and I'm very happy.

Tobias Hegewald: "I did quite a good lap on my first set of tyres -- unfortunately 14 thousandths too slow for pole! On my second set on tyres I hit traffic so I couldn't improve my time. I'm happy with second, and the overboost may well be useful in overtaking Robert tomorrow!

Andy Soucek said: "I've been really happy with how things went in the first and second practice - I think I have been quickest by a good margin. I thought I would be faster on my second set of new tyres -- in the end I just tried to do my best and it was not enough, so well done to these guys. Tomorrow the race is long and tyres could be a big factor; I'm quite used to that from GP2 so hopefully I have an advantage there. I'm hoping to get a good result for my home fans -- obviously starting from third is not the best, but I can still win the race."

-credit: f2

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Series F2
Drivers Robert Wickens , Milos Pavlovic , Julien Jousse , Carlos Iaconelli , Tobias Hegewald , Andy Soucek , Jack Clarke , Kazim Vasiliauskas