Double pole joy for Kovalainen at EuroSpeedway Gabord Competicion's Heikki Kovalainen took his first ever Superfund World Series by Nissan pole position today at the EuroSpeedway, Lausitz and duly followed it up with his second in a...
Double pole joy for Kovalainen at EuroSpeedway
Gabord Competicion's Heikki Kovalainen took his first ever Superfund World Series by Nissan pole position today at the EuroSpeedway, Lausitz and duly followed it up with his second in a thrilling qualifying session for race two.
Kovalainen, who set the pace in free practice, continued his strong form to out-pace his rivals by 0.3s to claim the top spot for race one. However, things were much closer for race two, with less than 0.1s covering the top four, but once again it was the Finn who came out on top.
"This has been a very good day," said the Finn. "This is the maximum of what we were hoping to achieve. We have a good car and I hope we can get the maximum result tomorrow."
Championship leader, and Gabord team-mate, Franck Montagny, lines up second for the first race, and fourth for the second. The Renault Formula 1 test driver struggled to find a good balance on his car in practice, so was pleased with his result.
"I'm quite happy to start both races on the front two rows after spending much of practice in fifth and sixth," he said. "We have some new tyres left for tomorrow, which is very important here, so we should be in good shape for the races."
Racing Engineering's Stephane Sarrazin has been on the pace all weekend, although the Frenchman felt a set-up change compromised his performance in the first qualifying session, which left him back in third. However, things got even worse for former F1 driver in the second session when he damaged his front wing on a kerb and finished up in 10th.
He said: "The car was not as good as in practice for qualifying. And second qualifying was spoilt with the problem with the wing. At least we had a good car for the race."
Sarrazin's team-mate Bas Leinders has also been strong around the infield track at the EuroSpeedway, and after taking fourth on the grid for race one, improved for race two, and will start from third.
"For sure it's a little disappointing to be so close to the pole time but to start from third," he said. "But I am very happy with the car and we should have a good race."
Indian Narain Karthikeyan struggled in the early part of the weekend, and was just seventh fastest in race one qualifying. To help him work out what he was doing wrong he put spotters around the EuroSpeedway circuit. The advice paid off and he will start on the front row for race two.
"At first the circuit was not good for me," said the Carlin Motorsport driver. "I was making a lot of mistakes. I have now sussed the track out and managed to get a good lap in."
KTR's Felix Porteiro did a solid job to end fifth and seventh in the two sessions, while Zele Racing's Norbert Siedler made a dramatic improvement after being a lowly 15th for race one to be sixth fastest in the second session. Jean Christophe Ravier also made big gains, improving from 11th fastest in session one to fifth in session two. Williams F1 tester Marc Gene had a solid day, taking two top 10 starting slots - ninth and eighth.
Qualifying for round two of the World Series Lights races was dominated by Vergani Racing's Pablo Donoso. The Chilean replicated his practice form to take pole for both races. The first session was tightly fought affair, with the top nine separated by 0.6s, but Donoso was in a class of his own in second qualifying, lapping over 0.5s quicker than any of his rivals.
Meycom Reyco's Argentine driver Juan Cruz was second fastest in first qualifying, but will start fifth in the second race. Adrian Valles will line up alongside Donoso for race two and fourth for the earlier round.
Celso Miguez was third fastest for race one, but caused session to be stopped in second qualifying, when his Meycom car stopped on the track. This left him back in fifth. It was also another troubled day for Mathias Lauda, son of triple F1 champion Niki. The data acquisition box on the Austrian's car again failed, and with no information on how best to improve the car, he was back in 10th for race one, and ninth for race two.