GP2

Monza: Series qualifying report

Pantano, Monza, Pole Position-- Done! Giorgio Pantano has positively romped to pole position on his home circuit of Monza in a thrilling qualifying contest this afternoon. The Italian was simply unstoppable as he swept aside ...

Pantano, Monza, Pole Position-- Done!

Giorgio Pantano has positively romped to pole position on his home circuit of Monza in a thrilling qualifying contest this afternoon. The Italian was simply unstoppable as he swept aside all challengers to record his first pole position of the season on the track at which he took two victories in 2006. The Italian will be joined on the front-row by Lucas di Grassi, as Giorgio's team- mate Vitaly Petrov recorded a career-best GP2 Series qualifying performance in third.

Qualifying Report: As the heat bore down on the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, Luca Filippi was the fastest of the early runners, leading a Super Nova 1-2 as Mike Conway sat second. Their lead was not to last long however, as first Borja Garcia, then Lucas, Adam Carroll, Giorgio and finally Lucas again set the top time.

After ten minutes Lucas still led the way on a 1:30.879, but Giorgio was pushing. The Italian blasted across the line to record a 1:30.794. After just ten minutes Giorgio had set what was to prove an uncatchable time. But that didn't stop his rivals from trying.

As the first half of the session drew near, championship leader Timo Glock suddenly leapt up from 22nd to third position, but was quickly demoted to fourth by Kazuki Nakajima who took that third position with a blistering run. Adam then entered the mix once again, forcing his way to fourth before spinning two laps later searching for those extra thousandths. By this point, the top 17 drivers were covered by a second and despite improving to his best time of the afternoon, with things so close Luca's next effort only took him to fifth.

Then, with minutes remaining, Giorgio went out and nailed pole with an improved 1:30.546. Game Over. As Timo slid off into the gravel trying to catch Lucas, Giorgio led the Brazilian and Kazuki. But a final flyer from Vitaly equaled Lucas' time to the thousandth, and the Russian took third position on account of his lap being set later than the Brazilian's. Kazuki was relegated to fourth, with Adam fifth and Xandi Negrao a brilliant sixth. Timo meanwhile, could only muster eighth and will start tomorrow's race six positions behind his title rival Lucas.

1st Giorgio Pantano: Campos Grand Prix. 1:30.546

Nearly every race when everything was going well we were nearly always in the top four, and here for sure it's a bit special and I'm at my home circuit. I like this circuit but if we see also my team-mate he made a very big improvement and he's there in third place and that means the car and everything was working very well.

2nd Lucas di Grassi : ART Grand Prix. +0.333

I think Pantano did a very, very good lap in both sessions and with the first set I was able to keep close with him but I couldn't improve on the second one due to a lot of factors. I was surprised that this was the first qualifying of the year that iSport was not very strong, because I was expecting Glock to be very quick.

3rd Vitaly Petrov: Campos Grand Prix. +0.333

For the first set of new tyres we had a little problem with the brakes. But we improved a lot and I want to say thank you to my team because they did a really good job and changed the car very well for my style to be able to drive on this circuit. I showed what I can do today.

-credit: gp2 series

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Adam Carroll , Mike Conway , Lucas di Grassi , Borja Garcia , Kazuki Nakajima , Luca Filippi , Vitaly Petrov
Teams ART Grand Prix