GP2

Monza: Series qualifying report

Pantano on pole in Monza Championship leader on top at home Giorgio Pantano's title aspirations were given another boost this afternoon when he claimed the final pole position of the season at Monza ahead of Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien...

Pantano on pole in Monza
Championship leader on top at home

Giorgio Pantano's title aspirations were given another boost this afternoon when he claimed the final pole position of the season at Monza ahead of Lucas di Grassi and Sebastien Buemi, with the Italian's championship rival Bruno Senna finishing in a lowly 12th position for tomorrow's penultimate race.

The championship leader's fastest lap of 1:31.220 took the top spot by just 0.019 seconds, but the two points picked up for pole give Pantano a 13 point cushion over Senna with a maximum score of just 18 points remaining in the title race. The Brazilian was only seven tenths off the pace today but, on a day where 17 drivers were within a second of pole and all 25 were within two seconds, it was a bridge too far.

Andreas Zuber, Pastor Maldonado and Lucas di Grassi initially fought over the top spot until Pantano took over just six minutes into the session, constantly improving his times over the period. Luca Filippi was the closest driver to his countryman's time for most of the session until di Grassi and Buemi just edged him out in the closing minutes of the session, pushing him back to fourth.

The iSport mechanics set to work on Senna's rear wing halfway through the session as he was clearly struggling for traction, but despite a small improvement he was unable to break into the top ten, which was rounded out by Vitaly Petrov, Pastor Maldonado, Andreas Zuber, Roldan Rodriguez, Javier Villa and Karun Chandhok. While Senna will be pushing hard to keep the championship alive for the final race, he will also be wary of being overtaken by Lucas di Grassi, who starts from the front row and is just seven points behind his countryman.

-credit: gp2

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