SGP2 logowedish driver leads 1-2 for DAMS in qualifying session in Barcelona

Marcus Ericsson was unbeatable in today’s qualifying session at Circuit de Catalunya: the Swedish ace put his DAMS car at the top of the standings early in the session. His laptime was bettered in the dying minutes by teammate Stéphane Richelmi, but for mere seconds only: Ericsson found extra pace to improve and crossed the finish line in a blazing 1:28.706.

Although ominous dark clouds loomed above the Spanish circuit as the pitlane opened, the track remained dry for the whole session. Series leader Stefano Coletti was quick to claim P1 in 1:29.426, but James Calado went one tenth faster, dropping the Monegasque driver to P2. Ericsson was on a mission and clocked in a laptime of 1:29.095 enough to make him sit pretty at the top. Sam Bird was the first rival to try and snatch pole from the Swede, but he ended up one tenth behind Ericsson. Felipe Nasr was next: the Brazilian’s efforts got him second, a shy 0.05s from P1.

The drivers made their way back to the pits for a fresh set of soft tyres, with Ericsson staying put and observing his competition until the final minutes. The clock kept ticking down and no one could match the Swede’s laptime. Nasr went for another flier, but it was not good enough. Bird made another attempt as well and lit the first sector in purple. He improved on his second sector, but a slow third sector crushed the Brit’s hopes for pole. In the dying minutes, Richelmi was not done with his day: the Monegasque driver found a perfect lap and broke under the 1m29s barrier, setting a laptime of 1:28.871. But his joy was short-lived: just moments after he crossed the finish line, Ericsson improved on his teammate’s time by one tenth thus pocketing his first GP2 pole position.

Behind the DAMS pair, Nasr retained third ahead of Bird with Coletti and Fabio Leimer in tow. Calado finished seventh ahead of rookie Robin Frijns, Kevin Ceccon and Kevin Giovesi. The décor is set for tomorrow’s feature race.

Barcelona – Qualifying Session

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:28.706

10

2. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:28.871

10

3. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:29.152

11

4. Sam Bird RUSSIAN TIME 1:29.188

9

5. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:29.213

10

6. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:29.293

11

7. James Calado ART Grand Prix 1:29.318

5

8. Robin Frijns Hilmer Motorsport 1:29.321

11

9. Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 1:29.424

10

10. Kevin Giovesi Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:29.425

10

11. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:29.609

11

12. Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 1:29.668

10

13. Sergio Canamasas Caterham Racing 1:29.685

10

14. Tom Dillmann RUSSIAN TIME 1:29.739

10

15. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:29.759

11

16. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:29.792

10

17. Alexander Rossi Caterham Racing 1:29.804

10

18. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1:29.824

12

19 Mitch Evans Arden International 1:29.936

11

20. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:29.956

11

21. Nathanaël Berthon Trident Racing 1:29.969

10

22. Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 1:30.020

10

23. Johnny Cecotto Arden International 1:30.025

11

24. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:30.025

14

25. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport 1:30.763

10

26. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:30.773

12