Spa: Series qualifying report

Lapierre Leaps to Surprise Spa Pole Nicolas Lapierre has put his Dams GP2 Series car in pole position for tomorrow's race at Spa- Francorchamps with a last minute flyer to deny Super Nova's Luca Filippi. The Italian looked to have things sewn up...

Lapierre Leaps to Surprise Spa Pole

Nicolas Lapierre has put his Dams GP2 Series car in pole position for tomorrow's race at Spa- Francorchamps with a last minute flyer to deny Super Nova's Luca Filippi. The Italian looked to have things sewn up on the Belgian track, but Nicolas timed his run to perfection to take the top spot with just two minutes of the session left to run. Luca finished second, with Bruno Senna third, despite spinning out of qualifying at the end of the first ten minutes.

Qualifying Report: As the session began, Championship contender Lucas di Grassi was the immediate pace-setter, dropping in a 1:57.874 to lead his rivals after their first flying laps. Luca however had the measure of the Brazilian and went top with a 1:57.262, which he improved to a 1:56.896 moments later.

After the first ten minutes, Luca led Bruno, Adam Carroll, Lucas, Mike Conway and Giorgio Pantano. Bruno, who had set the pace in practice, was desperate to bite into Luca's lead, but a mistake at the final chicane saw the Brazilian spin and stall. His session was over, and he would have to wait to see if his time would be good enough to keep him at the sharp end.

Timo Glock leapt up to fourth position at the mid-point of the session, running wide next time through as he allowed a flying Luca past. Further around the track, however, the traffic was causing headaches for the other drivers. Mike was on a quick lap, but at the final chicane found the determined Lucas in no mood to budge, with the Englishman's front wing coming off worse in a collision which sent Mike back to the pits. Lucas remained out on track and pushing for pole.

With six minutes to go Andi Zuber went third, with Timo taking fourth two minutes later. Then, from out of nowhere, Nicolas Lapierre swept into provisional pole with a lap of 1:56.885. It was a breathtaking effort. Timo however was not finished yet. After the second section he was the fastest driver of the afternoon, but pole was not to be as pitting cars slowed him at the final chicane. In the meantime, Lucas took fourth, and the grid was set.

Nicolas it was who took his first pole position since the very first GP2 Series race in Imola back in 2005, from Luca and Bruno, with Lucas fourth, Andi fifth and Timo sixth. The championship rivals will start line astern tomorrow, but with three confident and quick drivers in front of them, its anyone's race.

1st Nicolas Lapierre: Dams. 1:56.885

We did a good job and a big step in the last few races, although it was a little bit hard to see because we had some trouble. This morning in free practice went okay, and in qualifying I did a good lap on my second set of tyres which was good enough to get pole, so it is a little bit surprising but from this morning I think we knew we were going to be at the front.

2nd Luca Filippi : Super Nova International. +0.011

I was 28 minutes on pole and then I lost it for 11 thousands, which is a very short gap. I was second this morning and second this afternoon so we just can see that our pace is good and that the car is working perfectly and I think we have shown a very good pace during the whole day. Tomorrow will be very interesting.

3rd Bruno Senna : Arden International. +0.221

I have to say that I am pretty confident for tomorrow. Given the conditions if I am able to stay out of trouble I believe we can be strong and I can win the race. We just need to have a focussed head and do a good job, see if the strategy and pitstops work and if that happens we will be able to win.

-credit: gp2

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Nicolas Lapierre , Bruno Senna , Luca Filippi
Teams Arden International