In a complicated journey for the Formula GP2 series, the French driver Nicolas Lapierre became today in the first poleman after taking the fastest lap in the qualifying session disputed this afternoon at Imola, where Giorgio Pantano and JosÃ©...
In a complicated journey for the Formula GP2 series, the French driver Nicolas Lapierre became today in the first poleman after taking the fastest lap in the qualifying session disputed this afternoon at Imola, where Giorgio Pantano and José María López completed top three seed.
The morning started with problems for most of the field. 16 of the 24 cars suffered with reliability in the practice session where Heikki Kovalainen set the fastest time.
In the qualifying session for tomorrow`s starting grid, things seemed to improve, at least a little. Lapierre, teammate of Kovalainen in the Arden International, marked 1m33.505 leaving behind the 1m35.344 that his fellow partner set in the practice.
Lapierre, former F3 Euroseries driver on 2004, could return from a bad start on the morning when he completed justo two laps with the Dallara - Renault and no competitive times.
The French confirmed his potential showed last week in Barcelona tests where finished second overall and took the first two points for the championship with the pole position.
Top three drivers, Lapierre, Pantano and López ended in a very tight position, separated by less than 0.1 seconds after the 30 minutes of session.
The former F1 driver Pantano claimed a great lap time of 1m33.510 with the Super Nova team. Tomorrow could be an important start for the Italian in his aim of return to Formula One in the near future.
Argentinian López could also proved his condition in a hard debut journey. The DAMS team main card in GP2 couldn`t complete even one lap in the morning due to mechanics problems. However, the 2003 FRV6 champion showed his quickness in a circuit he well know from his days in the Italian FR.
The Venezuelan Ernesto Viso completed the second row for the first race and saved the day for BCN Competicion. The team had a great start in the practice with Hiroki Yoshimoto finishing second and Viso fourth. But the problems appeared in the qualify for the Japanese where he couldn`t set a lap time.
Viso keep showing that his performance in the pre-season tests wasn`t fire works and he should be taken in note for the start of the 2005 season.
The top ten driver in the classification for the first ever GP2 race were : Kovalainen, Scott Speed, Andrew Carroll, Nelson A. Piquet, Gianmaria Bruni and Juan Cruz Alverez.
The challenge for tomorrow is big. The question is if the GP2 series machines will be able to complete the 180km in 37 laps around Imola circuit. Let`s wait and see.