Heikki Kovalainen is all set to repeat his Lausitring success of last year. The Pons Racing driver took a pair of poles as predicted in qualifying today (Saturday). A double win tomorrow would be a decisive stride for the championship leader as the season enters its closing stage.
Kovalainen had his problems today, with a puncture in the first session that almost left him out of time to set a quick lap. But he made it out in time and calmly did the business on a new set of tyres, in a car that wass working to perfection. That left him on old rubber for the second, but still nobody could come close in the afternoon.
As in practice yesterday, Portugal's Tiago Monteiro was the only man who could get anywhere near the flying Finn. And even he was half a second behind in the morning session, before halving the gap in the closer second session. The Carlin man is confident for the race, however.
"Qualifying speed is one thing, and race pacec is another," said the Carlin driver. "Heikki has been very quick but there are two long races tomorrow and I am not worried."
Enrique Bernoldi (GD Racing) was third-quickest in the first session, but will start fourth in the second race after a late spin in the afternoon qualifying. The Brazilian is pleased to be where he is after big struggles in the practice sessions had left him well on the pace before today.
A highly satisfied Felix Porteiro starts third in the second race in his ever-improving Porfesa Competicion entry, reporting major improvements on his car.
In the World Series Lights category, Celso Miguez (Meycom Short) did his best to emulate Kovalainen's feats in the more powerful World Series car. Miguez was also fastest in both of the sessions, defeating Milos Pavlovic both times. They are his first poles of the season, but the Zolder winner can still hope to stay in the title race although he lies fifth. Pavlovic leads a tights points battle.