GP2

Istanbul: Qualifying report

Nico takes pole in Istanbul Nico Rosberg has taken yet another 2005 pole position to cut the gap to his main championship rival Heikki Kovalainen to five points. Nico's lap came in the latter stages of today's half hour qualifying session, just...

Nico takes pole in Istanbul

Nico Rosberg has taken yet another 2005 pole position to cut the gap to his main championship rival Heikki Kovalainen to five points. Nico's lap came in the latter stages of today's half hour qualifying session, just as a light sprinkling of rain made this new circuit just that little bit too slippery for anyone else to have a shot at bettering his time. Nico will be joined on the front row by Scott Speed, with Jose Maria Lopez and Giorgio Pantano sharing row two.

> Qualifying Report. As the session got underway, it was this morning's pace-setter Scott Speed who again proved himself the man to beat at Istanbul Park. The American was the first GP2 series driver to take his car around the 5.338km circuit in the 1:39s. A number of drivers sat on the top of the pile over the next quarter of an hour. Nelson Piquet Jr set a very quick lap to take provisional pole, before Giorgio and then Scott re-took the lead. Nico, who was third fastest this morning, was not about to be outdone however, and promptly set the lap which would seal pole position a 1:38.416.

As light rain covered the track, Jose Maria set the third fastest time of the session, which would ensure the top three drivers were covered by less than 0.15 seconds. Giorgio was thus pushed down to fourth, as Nelson finished the session fifth, Alex Prémat sixth, Adam Carroll seventh, Gimmi Bruni eighth, Borja Garcia ninth and Hiroki Yoshimoto a frustrated tenth after he was impeded on his fastest lap by a slower car.

On this newest of circuits, the entire grid of the GP2 series has once again proved its competitive nature, as all 24 drivers finished qualifying within 2.8 seconds of Nico. With 34 laps and a compulsory pitstop to contend with tomorrow afternoon, an enticing battle should be on the cards.

1st Nico Rosberg ART Grand Prix: 1.38.416
"I'm really happy about today. In the beginning it was difficult, because the track was quite dirty and we went out with new tyres, and it just didn't work. So we made the right changes to improve it a little bit, and then with the second set of tyres... I knew that was the one that was going to count, and I made it stick. I came to the last three corners and the track was a bit wet so I couldn't get the power down. I got across the line and thought `OK, that should be quite good' and it was. You never really know where you are when you're doing the lap you've got no idea."

2nd Scott Speed iSport International: +0.115
"I got held up pretty bad on my second set of tyres and I had to abort a run because of the yellow flags, otherwise I'm sure we would have been right there with Nico which we actually are though, so yeah we're quite confident for the race. I think there's going to be more overtaking here than we've seen all year. The layout, the braking zones, this place was built for overtaking!"

3rd Jose Maria Lopez DAMS: 0.145
"We've been working really hard to understand why we lost the car in the last three races. It looks like the team now understands, and I think that I helped a lot, and the car was okay today. Today I was able to fight for the pole when you are one tenth off you can always fight for the pole, but when you are one second off you can't. I'm very happy, and I hope that the car will be good for tomorrow in the race, which has always been a little bit difficult for us."

-gp2-

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Nelson Piquet , Scott Speed , Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen , Adam Carroll , Hiroki Yoshimoto , Jose Maria Lopez , Borja Garcia
Teams DAMS , ART Grand Prix