GP2

Hungaroring: Series qualifying report

Grosjean claims first pole Frenchman takes top spot in Hungary. Romain Grosjean has claimed his first pole position in the GP2 Series this afternoon at the Hungaroring, edging out Andreas Zuber and Lucas di Grassi by ...

Grosjean claims first pole

Frenchman takes top spot in Hungary.

Romain Grosjean has claimed his first pole position in the GP2 Series this afternoon at the Hungaroring, edging out Andreas Zuber and Lucas di Grassi by less that one tenth in an enthralling qualifying battle.

The Frenchman was delighted, and somewhat relieved, to finally take the top position in qualifying with a last minute lap of 1:27.782 after struggling with the final corner throughout the session: his rivals were both just 0.08 behind him when the chequered flag fell at the close of the session.

Zuber opened the session in style, setting the early running while teammate Pastor Maldonado watched from back in the paddock after the team were unable to repair his car in time after his big shunt in free practice this morning, but di Grassi was determined to take the top spot and overtook Zuber on the timesheets when many of his rivals came in for an early pitstop just six minutes into the session.

When the field returned to the track it was a four way battle for the top spot, with the top three and Karun Chandhok pushing each other hard as they fought for what is always a highly prized pole position. Grosjean in particular was looking impressive, constantly breaking the fastest first and second sector times, but he was continually frustrated with his line through the final corner.

When Chandhok spun at turn 12 with just three minutes remaining on the clock it appeared that di Grassi had the session wrapped up, but quick work by the marshals to remove the Indian's car gave the field one last lap to get it right, and Grosjean stepped up to the plate, nailing his run through the final corner at last to take the top spot. Zuber crossed the line in second just behind the Frenchman on track, while Vitaly Petrov snuck into fourth place as the flag dropped to round out a strong day for the Campos team.

Despite the spin Chandhok managed to hold on for fifth position, just ahead of Mike Conway, Giorgio Pantano, Bruno Senna, Jerome D'Ambrosio and Kamui Kobayashi: with everyone going for broke the top fourteen drivers were within a second of pole, with 21 drivers within another second of the top spot. The incredible closeness of the result today, along with the highly technical nature of the circuit, holds the promise of a scorching battle here tomorrow in race one.

-credit: gp2series.com

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