GP2 Series Media

Racing Engineering driver quickest in 2011 GP2 Final

Fabio Leimer fought long and hard today to grab pole position in the final stages of an ultimately extremely close qualifying session. Already fast in this morning’s free practice session, the Swiss from Racing Engineering set his best laptime of 1:49.363 with five minutes left on the clock after recovering from a spin at Turn 19 earlier in the session.

Dani Clos at Rapax was the first one to top the timesheet when the pitlane opened, but Arden’s Josef Kral wasted no time in breaking under the 1m50s barrier and, half a second clear of his nearest rival. The Czech driver’s laptime remained unbeaten for most of the session leaving the rest of the field busy to try and close the gap. Leimer and Clos were next on the list of drivers under 1m50s, the Spaniard ending a mere 0.02s behind Kral.

Ten minutes into the session, Leimer put his head down and pushed even harder but he spun at Turn 19 momentarily ending his hopes for pole. At the mid-way point Kral was still solidly hanging on to P1 ahead of Clos, Luiz Razia, Jolyon Palmer, Kevin Ceccon and Leimer. As most of the field came back into the pits, the top nineteen drivers were running within 1s.

Clos was the first back on track in the hopes of a clear track, but on his flying lap the Spaniard lost time in traffic of those on their outlap. Esteban Gutierrez was also on the hunt and found a clear lap. However, it was not enough and this morning’s fastest man sat in P6. With only five minutes left on the clock, Leimer finally found the extra pace and the needed clear lap to set the quickest laptime and take pole. Clos’ efforts put him in P2 edging out Kral to P3. At that precise moment Gutierrez stopped on the track with technical gremlins. The session was red flagged with only 3 minutes and 30 seconds left on the clock. When the session restarted, it was then too late for anyone to beat Leimer.

Behind the top three Razia secured a second row start ahead of Palmer, Max Chilton, Kevin Ceccon, Gutierrez, Tom Dillmann and Stefano Coletti.

2011 GP2 Final – Qualifying Session

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:49.363

11

2. Dani Clos Rapax 1:49.570

12

3. Josef Kral Arden International 1:49.612

11

4. Luiz Razia Caterham Team AirAsia 1:49.649

10

5. Jolyon Palmer Barwa Addax Team 1:49.697

12

6. Max Chilton Carlin 1:49.737

12

7. Kevin Ceccon Scuderia Coloni 1:49.751

12

8. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:49.822

9

9. Tom Dillmann iSport International 1:50.070

11

10. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:50.070

10

11. Giacomo Ricci Super Nova Racing 1:50.074

12

12. James Calado Lotus ART 1:50.074

11

13. Nigel Melker Dams 1:50.147

11

14. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:50.230

11

15. Alexander Rossi Caterham Team AirAsia 1:50.236

11

16. Antonio Felix Da Costa Ocean Racing Technology 1:50.276

12

17. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:50.296

11

18. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:50.374

12

19 Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:50.374

14

20. Rio Haryanto Dams 1:50.515

11

21. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:50.600

12

22. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:50.752

11

23. Fabio Onidi Super Nova Racing 1:51.052

13

24. Jan Charouz Carlin 1:51.407

12

25. Mihai Marinescu Rapax 1:51.893

13

26. Nicolas Marroc Ocean Racing Technology 1:52.550

10