IMOLA, QUALIFYING: GREAT THIRD PLACE FOR HERCK AND SCUDERIA COLONI
The Imola event, organized by GP2 Asia as a replacement for the two cancelled Middle-Eastern rounds, couldn't have a better start for Scuderia Coloni and Michael Herck, who will be lined-up in second row for the start of tomorrow's Feature Race. This was the outcome of a staggering Qualifying session by the Romanian driver, who clinched third place after a long fight with Romain Grosjean and Sam Bird. Already very quick in the morning Practice sessions, Herck took provisional pole in the first part of Qualifying, being quickest on track in both the first two outings and the final 3rd place in front of Jules Bianchi was a real delight for the team.
It was a really top-notch job, especially considering that the team is very confident about Herck's race pace, and that in Imola starting in the front rows is essential in order to achieve a podium result. Luca Filippi, stepping in for James Jakes, was less lucky: the Italian driver was had neither driven the new Dallara before nor tested the new Pirelli Tyres, but in the morning Practice session he was immediately quick. After that, he was forced out from both the second Practice and Qualifying due to a driveshaft issue, hence starting from last row in tomorrow's race.
Paolo Coloni: "We are really for Michael, as he showed again that he can compete with the best drivers of this GP2 grid, making the most of the great car that the team gave him. At the same time I'm deeply sorry for Luca. Despite being at his debut with this car an this tyres he was fast from scratch, and I'm sure that without the issues he would have been in the top rows. Now it will be difficult, but we'll give our best".
Michael Herck: "I'm really delighted, because Imola is a track where staring at the front can make a big difference. After the Practice I knew we were ok, but I didn't imagine that we were going to challenge for pole position. Then I jumped in the car and it was perfect, and going so quick felt very easy. Traffic didn't allow me to improve my time with the second set of fresh tyres, and this costed me pole position because an half-second improvement was definitely possible. Anyway we have the performance, so we are confident: the start will be the key moment and then I'm sure Grosjean will start pushing very hard soon, I will try my best to stay with him. We can clinch a great result, I will give all I can".
-source: Scuderia Coloni