Valencia: Qualifying report

Porteiro and Zuber on pole Tomorrow morning, Felix Porteiro (Epsilon Euskadi) will have the happy privilege to start from pole in front of his home crowd. He will be lining up alongside his teammate Robert Kubica, who is currently leading the ...

Porteiro and Zuber on pole

Tomorrow morning, Felix Porteiro (Epsilon Euskadi) will have the happy privilege to start from pole in front of his home crowd. He will be lining up alongside his teammate Robert Kubica, who is currently leading the World Series. The second pole went to Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport), with Markus Winkelhock (Draco) taking the second front row spot.

Session 1

The session got off to a bad start as Markus Winkelhock (Draco Multiracing USA) broke down out on the circuit, meaning the red flag had to come out. The German driver was however able to make it back to the pits and rejoin proceedings. Halfway through the session, it was Will Power (Carlin Motorsport) who had set the best time ahead of Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi). Colin Fleming (Jenzer Motorsport) then put in his own bid for pole with a lap in 1'21''054. Winkelhock meanwhile took 4th from Simon Pagenaud (DHG Saulnier Racing) before Kubica went fastest (1'21''036) just a few seconds from the chequered flag.

Only a few minutes into the second series, Adrian Valles (Pons Racing) had already managed to spin his car. Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport) and Tristan Gommendy (KTR) held onto the leading places, until Eric Salignon (Cram Competition) slipped his way in between them. Enrico Toccacelo (Victory Engineering), who seemed to be lacking form, then made a costly mistake but was able to rejoin the session. Then, it was Felix Porteiro's (Epsilon Euskadi) turn to show what he could do as he posted the 2nd fastest time. Salignon rose to the challenge and recovered his pole position. Valles then at last managed to better Zuber with a lap in 1'21''298. But in the end it was Porteiro who took pole in 1'20''989, with Salignon and Zuber ahead of Valles.

Session 2

Andreas Zuber was the fastest to get down to business putting in a 1'21''917 lap. But Eric Salignon responded straight away with a lap in 1'21''766. Tristan Gommendy then muscled in on a battle in which Adrian Valles seemed to be non-runner, at 1''2 off the pace. Zuber meanwhile remained fastest improving his time to 1'21''252. Then, three minutes from the end, Valles moved up into third at Gommendy's expense. Track conditions were proving to be very tricky: Raffaele Giammaria (DAMS), Giorgio Mondini (Eurointernational) and Mehdi Bennani (Avelon) all lost control of their cars.

In the even number series, Robert Kubica unseated Will Power from the top spot on the timing screens with a lap in 1'21''624. Two minutes from the end, Markus Winkelhock went better than the WSR's overall leader by going round in 1'21''580. But he still needed to pull back another four tenths to beat Zuber's time and take pole! Colin Fleming then took the third place in this series from Power in the final minute of qualifying. In the dying moments, the first three drivers were grouped together within just 68/1000ths of a second. But Winkelhock could do no better and the pole went to Zuber.

Andreas Zuber: "I was disappointed with my first session because I was held back on my fastest lap. For the second session, I knew that the car was just right and everything went fine."

Robert Kubica: "For me the first session is the most important one as tomorrow morning's race is going to be a sprint to the finish line. Until yesterday I'd only be running on worn tyres so I didn't know just how much potential there was in the car."

Eric Salignon: "I was confident that I could do well as I had two sets of fresh tyres. But I was unable to get the most out of the second set because of the yellow flags in the closing section. But I'm happy to be back up with the leaders after two difficult opening races."

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Colin Fleming , Eric Salignon , Tristan Gommendy , Robert Kubica , Will Power , Markus Winkelhock , Adrian Valles , Felix Porteiro , Mehdi Bennani , Giorgio Mondini , Andreas Zuber , Simon Pagenaud
Teams DAMS , Carlin , Jenzer Motorsport