GP2

Imola: Friday qualifying report

Bruni and Trident grab stunning home pole Gimmi Bruni has given his Trident Racing GP2 series team an incredible boost by landing pole position for their home event, in only the squad's second round of competition. The Italian set his lap time...

Bruni and Trident grab stunning home pole

Gimmi Bruni has given his Trident Racing GP2 series team an incredible boost by landing pole position for their home event, in only the squad's second round of competition. The Italian set his lap time in the final minutes of a fast-paced, action-packed session which saw the top 22 drivers covered by just two seconds at the final counting.

After two Formula One practice sessions, the track was well rubbered-in, and the drivers were instantly on a blistering pace, with Lewis Hamilton setting the early benchmark of 1:33.386. Gimmi and José María López however were right with the Briton, and from the off it looked like pole would be decided between the three of them.

It was José who took over the top spot with half the session gone, putting his Super Nova International car on a 1:32.941, becoming the first driver to break the 1:33s. But as the session entered the final minutes it was Gimmi who was on a charge, and he put in the best lap of the day to take pole on 1:32.691. José however was not willing to give up, and posted the quickest first two sectors of the day before a terrible final sector ruined his chances of pole. He pushed again on the following lap, but spun on the exit of Aqua Minerale and stalled on the racing line. With just two minutes to go, and yellow flags being frantically waved, all chances of Gimmi being toppled form pole were effectively gone.

The Italian will start from his second GP2 series pole tomorrow, and will be joined on the front row by José. Lewis will start third, joined on the second row by his ART Grand Prix team-mate Alex Prémat. Hiroki Yoshimoto will line up in an excellent fifth for BCN Competicion, with championship leader Nelson Piquet Jr (Piquet Sports) sixth, Adam Carroll (Racing Engineering) seventh, Nicolas Lapierre and Michael Ammermüller (Arden International) eighth and ninth respectively, with Clivio Piccione tenth for DPR Direxiv.

The pace of today's session was one of the brightest surprises of the season so far. Gimmi's pole time was just eight seconds slower than the fastest laptime set in F1 free practice today, showing just how close to F1 speeds the GP2 series is able to accomplish, as it prepares the stars of the future for life in Formula One.

1st Gimmi Bruni Trident Racing.1:32.691
"All the guys have done a fantastic job. This morning we ran with a different strategy and saw we were fourth with the fuel we had in, so I said why not? On my first set of tyres I made a little bit of a mistake in the first sector, but on the second set I did a good first sector, then the second, so I knew we were good. The third lap is now the good lap, so I pushed, and I'm really, really happy."

2nd José María López Super Nova International. +0.250
"I kept trying to push but the tyres were a bit used, and I spun and there was nothing more to do. But second is very good and now we have to concentrate on the race. If we have a good car we have good possibilities for tomorrow."

3rd Lewis Hamilton ART Grand Prix. +0.299
"I made a small mistake on my fastest lap and that put me in third. It's difficult to say how much time I lost, but it was enough. But it's still positive to be in third position, which is consistent with the last race, and I hope that I can get a good start of the grid tomorrow and finish even higher."

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nelson Piquet , Adam Carroll , Clivio Piccione , Nicolas Lapierre , Hiroki Yoshimoto , Jose Maria Lopez , Michael Ammermüller
Teams ART Grand Prix , Racing Engineering , Trident , Arden International