GP2 logoMonegasque driver leads all DAMS front row in Nurburgring

Stéphane Richelmi is a happy man: following his first 2013 GP2 podium finish in Silverstone, the Monegasque driver grabbed a maiden pole position at the Nurburgring today out-qualifying teammate Marcus Ericsson by two tenths of a second. Rookie Robin Frijns completed the top three.

The qualifying session opened in similar conditions as this morning’s free practice’s. All twenty-six drivers opted for Super Soft Pirelli tyres. Eager to get back to the top, Series leader Stefano Coletti set the early pace in a 1:39.274 although he hit traffic in his final sector. Richelmi was quick to improve on his countryman’s laptime until Ericsson clocked in a time of 1:38.763, a shy six hundredths quicker than Frijns in P2 and with Felipe Nasr third.

Halfway through the session, most of the drivers made their way back into the pits for a fresh set of super soft rubbers. The session heated up again with ten minutes left on the clock and Mitch Evans found the extra pace to slip into third thanks to a purple second sector whilst Fabio Leimer moved up to fifth with a third purple sector. In the final stages of the session, Richelmi put his head down and set a record laptime of 1:38.487. In spite of their best efforts, none of his rivals could match his pace, not even Frijns who did however light the last sector in purple on his final attempt, but it was not enough to edge out the DAMS pair from the top.

At the chequered flag, it was smiles all around at DAMS’ pitwall with both of their cars locking out tomorrow’s front row, Richelmi ahead of Ericsson. Frijns settled for third ahead of Evans, Nasr, Leimer, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (who makes it three rookies in the top seven), James Calado, Sam Bird and Tom Dillmann. This was one close qualifying session with seventeen drivers running within the same second.

Nurburg – Qualifying session

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:38.487

11

2. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:38.763

11

3. Robin Frijns Hilmer Motorsport 1:38.804

12

4. Mitch Evans Arden International 1:38.848

14

5. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:38.897

12

6. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:38.997

11

7. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport 1:39.006

12

8. James Calado ART Grand Prix 1:39.018

10

9. Sam Bird RUSSIAN TIME 1:39.089

12

10. Tom Dillmann RUSSIAN TIME 1:39.186

10

11. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:39.193

13

12. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:39.243

11

13. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:39.274

13

14. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:39.320

13

15. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:39.374

10

16. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:39.379

12

17. Sergio Canamasas EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:39.465

13

18. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:39.503

14

19 Johnny Cecotto Arden International 1:39.723

14

20. Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 1:39.780

12

21. Nathanaël Berthon Trident Racing 1:39.792

12

22. Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 1:39.813

11

23. Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 1:39.876

12

24. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1:39.986

14

25. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:40.986

14

26. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:40.311

13