Premat on pole at Magny-Cours

In his home Grand Prix, Alexandre Premat came up with his first pole position for tomorrow's GP2 series competition to have place in Circuit Nevers of Magny-Cours, in France. Argentinean Jose Maria Lopez and Finnish-German Nico Rosberg completed...

In his home Grand Prix, Alexandre Premat came up with his first pole position for tomorrow's GP2 series competition to have place in Circuit Nevers of Magny-Cours, in France. Argentinean Jose Maria Lopez and Finnish-German Nico Rosberg completed top three qualifiers.

The ART Grand Prix driver set a lap time of 1m25.132 leaving behind by two seconds the best time set in the morning session by his teammate Rosberg, although with better track conditions. "I am very happy for this first pole because since the beginning of the year I've had a lot of problems in the qualifying, and so at Paul Ricard two weeks ago we worked a lot on that", commented Premat.

The Frenchman took ten laps to set his best shot improving almost on three seconds his practice time. "I think this is a good pole position because when I put on my first set of tyres I did the fastest time, and then when I put on my second set I was four tenths faster even with a mistake, so I am very happy, and very confident for tomorrow afternoon", said the 23 year-old.

Premat, winner last season in the Formula 3 Masters events in Macau and Zandvoort, gave a good reason to celebrate for all the Frenchs in the circuit, and also, good hopes for what might happen tomorrow aftertoon. "I want a win for the fans here and because it is my and the team's home Grand Prix".

The best result to date for Premat in a Friday qualifying session was on last race in Nurburgring with eighth place. Premat will try tomorrow to get his best race result by taking the victory. Second place in season opener round in San Marino was the closest the French driver has been to win.

Front row will be full with French teams, as DAMS driver Lopez achived second lap time. "I'm quite happy. Since the beginning of this morning I knew that even if I didn't do a good lap that the car wasn't feeling that bad, so I knew that it was possible to qualify at the front", mentioned the Argentinean.

Lopez is suffering a rash that doesn't seem to complicate his job in the car. "it's really a bit itchy, but it doesn't hurt. I woke up and I was covered in all these things -- it looks like an allergic reaction to something, so I've been taking pills and I saw the doctor", he explained.

The former F-3000 driver wants to repeat his victory of Spain a couple of months ago. "it would be nice to win the long race! It would be great, especially for here which is my team's home, and definitely I want to win". Lopez took the sprint race in Montmelo and a second place in San Marino, as best results.

Lopez marked 274km/h in the speed trap and only beat Olivier Pla and Borja Garcia, showing that a good set-up balance in the twist turns of Magny-Cours can make a difference.

The other DAMS driver, Fairuz Fauzy, set his best work in qualifying with a solid 13th place for the man from Malaysia.

ART Grand Prix completed his good day with Rosberg on third position of the grid. "It's not always the best to be behind your teammate! But these things happen and I'm quite happy to be in third", recognised the Finn.

Third place is the best result for Rosberg on a Friday which gives him a chance to dream for tomorrow. "I've never started this far up -- so far I've always been coming from the back to the front, so we'll see! I hope to have a good race -- I think it's a good situation for us, so we'll see"., he said.

With both drivers on top three, ART Grand Prix had a great shot to take the first victory, and why not, a 1-2 finish on Saturday. Time will tell.

Standings leader Heikki Kovalainen took best fourth followed by Adam Carroll as the best between the Super Nova guys, while Scott Speed, Red Bull F1 test driver, set sixth time.

Nicolas Lapierre, Nelson A. Piquet, Giorgio Pantano and Hiroki Yoshimoto completed top ten of the grid.

At 14.45 local time will start the GP2 competition with 41 laps around the 4.411 km circuit. Today, three top drivers were split by one tenth and top twelve by a second. So the show is secure for tomorrow.

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Giorgio Pantano , Scott Speed , Nico Rosberg , Heikki Kovalainen , Adam Carroll , Fairuz Fauzy , Olivier Pla , Nicolas Lapierre , Alexandre Prémat , Hiroki Yoshimoto , Jose Maria Lopez
Teams DAMS , ART Grand Prix