GP2

Catalunya: DAMS qualifying report

Barcelone, qualifying : Looking forward to a brighter tomorrow Today, DAMS took part in free practice and qualifying for the opening round of the 2009 GP2 Series Championship on the Montmelo circuit. After winning the drivers' and teams' titles...

Barcelone, qualifying : Looking forward to a brighter tomorrow

Today, DAMS took part in free practice and qualifying for the opening round of the 2009 GP2 Series Championship on the Montmelo circuit. After winning the drivers' and teams' titles in the Asian GP2 Series two weeks ago, the team's aim is to fight at the front in the championship that is just beginning.

Unfortunately, Kamui Kobayashi was in for an unpleasant surprise in this morning's free practice. The Japanese driver ran into an engine problem that prevented him from practising. The Mecachrome engineers solved it in time for qualifying, and Kamui had to start his weekend in the most important session of the meeting. So it was no surprise that he was unable to fight his corner, and he finished twenty-second overall.

Jerome d'Ambrosio had a much better day. He ended the morning's practice in twelfth place due to traffic and yellow flags, and in qualifying the Belgian set the seventh-quickest time. He will start from sixth on the grid thanks to one of his rivals being penalised. Jerome was on the pace right from the start of practice confirming that he will be one of the drivers to watch this season.

Eric Boullier: "Hats off to Jerome who, today, confirmed the potential we glimpsed in the Asian GP2 Series this winter. He made steady progress throughout practice, and we can look forward to a strong race tomorrow. On the other hand, I'm very sorry for Kamui. It's a real pity to begin the championship with an engine problem. He's going to have a difficult race, but he's shown in the past that spectacular comebacks don't scare him. He'll put on a great show tomorrow."

Jerome d'Ambrosio: 7th in qualifying, 6th on the grid

"My aim was to finish in sixth place and I achieved it today. In the dying moments of qualifying I set out to improve my time, but yellow flags waved after an accident forced me to abort my flying lap. I could have been a little higher up the grid but we lacked that little extra to go for the front row. Tomorrow, my aim is to push very hard and above all to see the finishing line. I want to open my score as quickly as possible."

Kamui Kobayashi: 22nd in qualifying, 22nd on the grid

"The day didn't get off to a great start and after being reduced to the role of a spectator in the only free practice session, I didn't have enough running time to find my marks in qualifying. My twenty-second place is disappointing but it's better to forget it and concentrate on the race itself. It's not over till the chequered flag and I'll seize the slightest opportunity that comes my way."

-credit: dams

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Kamui Kobayashi , Jérôme d'Ambrosio
Teams DAMS