GP2

Asia: Qatar: Javier Villa qualifying report

After an exciting conclusion to the qualifying session, Javier Villa took a place on the fourth row for the first GP2 night race, due tomorrow in Qatar. The Spaniard had his first contact with Losail's track and with driving his Super Nova...

After an exciting conclusion to the qualifying session, Javier Villa took a place on the fourth row for the first GP2 night race, due tomorrow in Qatar.

The Spaniard had his first contact with Losail's track and with driving his Super Nova Dallara under artificial light in the Free Practice. Here he completed the scheduled work program, getting used to the new track and to the visibility conditions, while fine tuning the car setup on a very slippery asphalt due to the large amount of dirt accumulated after the sandstorm of the previous day.

After setting the 16th best time in the half hour of practice, Villa and his team discovered some interesting conclusions regarding the direction to follow in order to improve the car's behaviour, and the changes carried out before qualifying proved to be really positive. In the first part of the decisive session for the Feature Race grid, Javier was second on the time list, running a series of fast and consistent laps.

In his second attempt, though, Javi could only complete three laps before the session was stopped by a red flag, and he was unable to improve his previous time. With all the cars in the pits and only three and a half minutes to the finish, the qualifying was resumed at a frantic pace with all the drivers were simultaneously back on the track, with time only to do one quick lap on a track cleaner and therefore faster. Villa was one of those who managed to improve his previous laptime in this final attempt, which allowed him to get seventh position, only two tenths shy of second place, which gives clear indications of the great equality among the best in the GP2 Asia Series.

Tomorrow, in the Feature Race, Villa will therefore start from the fourth row of the grid, ready to fight for the front positions. At the end of the day, the Spaniard was really happy with his performance and confident in his chance of shining under the floodlights that illuminate Losail's complicated circuit.

Javier Villa's own words: "It was not bad at all. In free practice we were not among the fastest but it was more about looking how the track was than anything else, and it was really dirty after yesterday's sandstorm. For qualifying we did several changes to the car and in the first part I was second. In the second part I only did three laps before it was red flagged, so they only left three and a half minutes to do a fast lap with everybody simultaneously on track. Maybe, in normal circumstances, it was possible to have been higher up the list, but I finished quite happy because there was a lot of tension and even though I managed to improve my times and to finish seventh, and there is only two tenths from second to seventh. Tomorrow we will look for a good position at the start and then try to fight ahead. As for driving in these light conditions, the visibility is really good. Initially it is a bit different, since the track is very well illuminated but not everything that's around it is, but you get used to it soon and you focus so much in the driving that you almost doesn't notice any difference."

-credit: javiervilla.com

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Javier Villa