Romain Grosjean leads French Connection
Dams racer on Abu Dhabi pole ahead of Lotus ART's Jules Bianchi
First GP2 Asia Series Champion Romain Grosjean put his Dams GP2/11 car on pole position for tomorrow's feature race at Yas Marina Circuit. He set a best laptime of 1:36.041 - a clear four tenths ahead of Jules Bianchi at Lotus ART, and making it an all French front row. Reigning Champion Davide Valsecchi qualified third at the wheel of the new Team AirAsia car.
A couple of hours following today's first practice session of the fourth GP2 Asia Series, the twenty-six cars were back in action in Abu Dhabi for the qualifying session. After only three laps, Grosjean set the pace in 1:36.568 with Valsecchi a shy tenth slower. Also on his third lap, Bianchi went top, but it was only temporarily as Grosjean improved even further and went two tenths quicker than his fellow countryman.
At mid-session, with most of the cars back in the pits, Grosjean was leading Bianchi, Marcus Ericsson, Davide Valsecchi, earlier quickest man Josef Kral, Dani Clos and GP3 Series Champion Esteban Gutierrez. When the cars took back to the track, Clos at Racing Engineering moved up to P3 before eventually being edged out by Valsecchi.
Meanwhile, Grosjean would not let anyone steal pole from him today, improving his best laptime and setting a four tenth gap between him and Bianchi. Clearly on par with Grosjean's pace, Bianchi put his head down and started to push to reduce said gap, but not only did he get stuck in traffic in his third sector but he also went wide one time too many making it impossible to snatch pole from the Dams' racer.
Behind the top three, Clos, Giedo van der Garde, Ericsson, Carlin's Max Chilton, Kral, Gutierrez and newcomer Nathanael Berthon at Racing Engineering rounded up the top ten.
Tomorrow's first feature race of the GP2 Asia Series will start at 16:55, local time. And with fourteen drivers within the same second during today's qualifying session, it is definitely one race you do not want to miss!