Grosjean takes pole for GP2 opener
|By Mark Glendenning
||Friday, May 8th 2009, 14:59 GMT
Romain Grosjean will start tomorrow's GP2 Series season-opener at Barcelona from pole position following a strong performance in qualifying this afternoon.
The Barwa Addax driver struck early with his 1m27.510s effort, and the time stood for the remainder of the session.
For several minutes the former Campos team appeared on its way for a one-two before Racing Engineering's Lucas di Grassi was able to find a clear lap on his second run to put him second on the grid, squeezing out Vitaly Petrov.
"The problem is the traffic," said di Grassi. "I don't know if we have slower rookies this year or what, but it could be a big problem. There could be races where you don't get a clear lap and qualify 16th even though you did nothing wrong. But otherwise, everything feels pretty good, so I think we're looking okay for tomorrow."
Nico Hulkenberg will begin his first GP2 main series race from fourth, the ART rookie lining up alongside FMS driver Andi Zuber.
Super Nova's Luca Filippi was sixth on the timesheets but will drop to ninth on the grid due to his three-place penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags during practice earlier in the day, moving Jerome D'Ambrosio up to sixth alongside Diego Nunes.
The only major casualty came in the final minutes of the session when the Arden car of Sergio Perez swapped ends and pitched itself into the tyre barriers.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Romain Grosjean Barwa 1m27.510s
2. Lucas di Grassi Racing Engineering 1m27.531s +0.021
3. Vitaly Petrov Barwa 1m28.027s +0.517
4. Nico Hulkenberg ART 1m28.088s +0.578
5. Andi Zuber FMS 1m28.090s +0.580
6. Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS 1m28.209s +0.699
7. Diego Nunes iSport 1m28.253s +0.743
8. Roldan Rodriguez Piquet 1m28.266s +0.756
9. Luca Filippi Super Nova 1m28.195s +0.685
10. Pastor Maldonado ART 1m28.283s +0.773
11. Sergio Perez Arden 1m28.374s +0.864
12. Edoardo Mortara Arden 1m28.451s +0.941
13. Karun Chandhok Ocean 1m28.488s +0.978
14. Alvaro Parente Ocean 1m28.608s +1.098
15. Javier Villa Super Nova 1m28.381s +0.871
16. Alberto Valerio Piquet 1m28.688s +1.178
17. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m28.691s +1.181
18. Giedo van der Garde iSport 1m28.796s +1.286
19. Davide Rigon Trident 1m28.872s +1.362
20. Davide Valsecchi Durango 1m29.164s +1.654
21. Luiz Razia FMS 1m29.185s +1.675
22. Kamui Kobayashi DAMS 1m29.350s +1.840
23. Giacomo Ricci DPR 1m29.524s +2.014
24. Nelson Panciatici Durango 1m29.560s +2.050
25. Ricardo Teixeira Trident 1m31.115s +3.605
26. Michael Herck DPR 1m31.875s +4.365