The battle takes shape The much-anticipated battle between Will Power (Carlin Motorsport) and Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi) finally started to take shape during qualifying. The two men took one pole position each. Kubica will start alongside...
The battle takes shape
The much-anticipated battle between Will Power (Carlin Motorsport) and Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi) finally started to take shape during qualifying. The two men took one pole position each. Kubica will start alongside Power in the first race, while Marcus Winkelhock (Draco) will line up next to Kubica on the front row for the second race.
Unusually quiet during free practice, the leader of the World Series was quick to impose himself at the top of the pecking order. Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi) had set the fastest time by the midpoint of the session. In second, Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport) fell victim to a spin, as did Adrian Valles (Pons Racing). Both drivers did however manage to rejoin proceedings. The third best time was snatched from Jaap Van Lagen (KTR) by Felix Porteiro (Epsilon Euskadi). Eric Salignon (Cram Comp0x00e9tition) completed the top 5.
A few spots of rain fell just before the second series was due to get underway. The drivers all went straight into action, fearing a shower that never came. With five minutes gone, Will Power (Carlin Motorsport) had the fastest time ahead of Tristan Gommendy (KTR). Markus Winkelhock (Draco Multiracing USA) and Tomas Kostka (Victory Engineering) then both got things horribly wrong, but were able to keep going. The track was clearly very slippy, as Tristan Gommendy was also caught in a 3600x00b0 spin, just after taking provisional pole! But Will Power snatched the pole position from the clutches of the KTR driver right at the chequered flag, bettering his time by just 31/1000ths. Both the Draco Multiracing USA drivers, Markus Winkelhock and Christian Montanari, ended up on the 3rd and 4th rows ahead of Fernando Rees (Interwetten.com).
The session got off to a bad start for Tomas Kostka, who went straight off into the gravel trap. Will Power himself had no such trouble and quickly moved to the to the top of the standings. The Australian then continued to constantly improve on his time, while the battle raged behind him for the remaining places. Tristan Gommendy, Markus Winkelhock, Fernando Rees and Celso Miguez were all grouped within a few tenths of a second. Then, right at the chequered flag, Winkelhock managed to snatch the best time from Power, while Rees, Gommendy and Miguez all held onto places in the top 5.
The second group proved to be much faster, as Robert Kubica beat Winkelhock's time after only five minutes. Midway through the session, while Simon Pagenaud was busy running off onto the grass, the favourites were coming into the pits for fresh tyres. Zuber managed to move up past Kubica, but Van Lagen, Valles, Porteiro and Salignon were all in with a chance of pole. Then, Kubica regained the upper hand to take his third pole position of the season. The final seconds looked like they were going to be decisive, but spins from Giorgio Mondini (Eurointernational) and Robert Kubica ruled out any possibility of further improvement. Only Salignon managed to improve on his time to go third fastest at the expense of Porteiro and Valles.
Will Power: "It's an advantage to be in pole position for the sprint race. I think that the second series are always faster than the first because of the rubber deposited on the track. In the second session, I made a mistake that meant that I did not make it onto the front row, but the pit stops may change all that."
Robert Kubica: "I was already in with a shout this morning but I made some mistakes that put me out of the running for pole. But we knew that I was capable of going faster than 1'12''. We were lucky enough to have some dry track this afternoon and I was more successful. It's good to take the additional point."