Davide Valsecchi (DAMS, GP2 series media

DAMS racer pockets second pole of 2012 season

Davide Valsecchi was once again untouchable during today’s qualifying session at the Bahrain International Circuit: he put his DAMS car at the top of the timesheets early on and his laptime of 1:41.200 was never bettered. With this result, Valsecchi pockets his second pole position of the 2012 season. Esteban Gutiérrez and Felipe Nasr finished P2 and P3 respectively.

It was slightly cooler as the twenty-six GP2 cars fed onto the track. Johnny Cecotto set the early pace, but on his third lap and on Option Pirelli tyres, Valsecchi dipped under the 1m42s, setting the fastest first and second sectors. Gutiérrez on his third attempt as well was also able to break the 1m42s barrier but ended a tenth shy off the Italian. Rookie Stéphane Richelmi found his way to P3 ahead of Max Chilton, but the pair were pushed back when Nasr moved up to third.

Ten minutes into the session and Series leader Luiz Razia shot to P4, 0.6s behind Valsecchi. The Italian then improved by one tenth for good measure. The proceedings were red flagged following a small collision between Brendon Hartley and Giedo van der Garde. The Caterham racer overtook the Ocean man in the last corner. During the manoeuvre the two cars touched slightly and Hartley’s front wing came off. Debris was left on the track thus calling for a quick red flag. Along with the rest of the field, the Kiwi driver re-entered the pits to have his car fixed and was able resume his session.

At the restart, all eyes returned to the timesheets. Marcus Ericsson found some extra pace to move up to P5, but Fabio Leimer also improved and made his way to P4 ahead of Cecotto and Ericsson. No one however could match Valsecchi’s pace and with three minutes to spare, Gutiérrez, Nasr and Leimer re-entered the pits and chose to end their session early in order to save their tyres. Two minutes later, Ceccoto, Richelmi, Ericsson and Calado did the same.

At the chequered flag, Valsecchi enjoyed his new success while Gutiérrez and Nasr also celebrated their best qualifying ever. Leimer will start from P4 ahead of Cecotto, Richelmi, (Marcus Ericsson will be dropped ten places following a grid penalty picked up in Malaysia Sprint Race), James Calado, Razia, Chilton and Rio Haryanto.

Bahrain – Qualifying Session

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:41.200

10

2. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:41.479

7

3. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:41.785

6

4. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:41.798

10

5. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:41.858

11

6. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:41.862

10

7. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:41.933

10

8. James Calado Lotus GP 1:41.939

9

9. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:41.962

10

10. Max Chilton Carlin 1:41.980

12

11. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:42.097

13

12. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:42.139

12

13. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:42.156

11

14. Dani Clos Barwa Addax Team 1:42.158

10

15. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1:42.190

12

16. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:42.374

10

17. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:42.409

12

18. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:42.427

8

19 Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:42.456

12

20. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:42.706

13

21. Brendon Hartley Ocean Racing Technology 1:42.782

13

22. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:42.853

11

23. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:42.895

12

24. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:43.014

14

25. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:43.907

11

26. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:44.078

14