GP2

Istanbul: Javier Villa qualifying report

Javier Villa got a place on the fourth row of the grid for Istanbul Park's Saturday race after scoring the eighth fastest time in the qualifying session, held this afternoon at the Turkish track. Javi had already shown good pace in the morning...

Javier Villa got a place on the fourth row of the grid for Istanbul Park's Saturday race after scoring the eighth fastest time in the qualifying session, held this afternoon at the Turkish track.

Javi had already shown good pace in the morning free practice with no problems other than spinning once when trying to improve his time on a track that was quite cold. The free practice session was held under cloudy skies and with temperatures far lower than usual in Turkey, this meant that the hard compound tyres used by Bridgestone this weekend weren't working at their ideal grip conditions with the consequence that there were several off-road incidents among the 26 GP2 contenders.

In qualifying, Villa kept improving and on his first fast lap he improved his free practice time by more than one second. However a yelow flag, when he was looking for an even better laptime in the dying moments of the session, prevented him from finishing higher than eighth. A result that, still, is quite positive as it puts him on the fourth row of the grid and with laptimes really close to several of the cars in front. Thus the Spaniard feels optimistic regarding his chances of mixing in the fight tomorrow for the top positions. With his team mate, Giorgio Pantano, on pole position, Javi has got a great reference regarding the pace he can get from the Racing Engineering Dallara. Although both cars setup aren't identical for the Turkish track, is always possible to get intersting information from the data gathered by both cars and drivers, so Villa hopes to find the few tenths that separated him today from the two first rows of the grid.

Tomorrow, the feature race, scheduled for 34 laps, starts at 4PM and then Javi hopes to make a good start in order to keep the pace of the group ahead on a track were overtaking is quite normal, so being close to the first cars is always gives a chance of a podium position if he can lap at the sort of pace he's looking for.

Javier Villa own words: "We have been improving a bit at a time and at the end we finished eighth which isn't bad at all. Starting from fourth row there are always chances to finish well. A pity about the yellow flag that I got when doing the last fast lap as I think we'd have improved two or three tenths there.

Giorgio is on pole and that's good for the team and for us, even if the two cars have got exactly the same setup we can always get some data to see where we are missing these few tenths that separates us from the fastest ones."

-credit: javiervilla.com

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