Glock tops opening GP2 practice
Timo Glock (pictured right) has opened the 2007 racing season in style by claiming the fastest time in free practice at the first round in Bahrain. The German set a best time of 1.42:223 on his second flying lap, a time no one was able to touch: Luca Filippi came closest, albeit six tenths off Glock's pace, with Xandi Negrao third a further tenth behind.
With the tension in the pitlane pushing the already baking temperatures up ahead of the session, there was a exhilarating sense of release as midday came and the drivers could finally get out on track in race conditions for the first time this year.
The tension seemed to be a bit too much for Kohei Hirate, who spun at turn ten at the top of the GP2 pitlane, stalling in the process. His mechanics were soon on the scene to push the Japanese driver back to the pits, but he had already lost valuable time in the 30 minute session.
Negrao put himself on the top of the timesheets on his first flying lap, but next time around Glock annexed the position and was untouchable for the remainder of the session.
As could be expected there were a number of off track excursions up and down the grid, with Antonio Pizzonia, Karun Chandhok, Sakon Yamamoto and Bruno Senna among the many drivers taking a wider line than necessary, although Nicolas Lapierre was the only man to stop out on track, losing the back of his car at turn seven but thankfully stopping short of the Armco as he glided to a halt.
GP2 Series champions ART Grand Prix looked hot for the fight too, as Lucas di Grassi and Michael Ammermuller wound up fifth and seventh respectively. Kazuki Nakajima continued his impressive pre-season form in fourth, with Pizzonia sixth. Andreas Zuber rounded out the top eight.
The lap times were as consistent as expected, with one second covering the first 8 drivers and a further second containing 20 men. With temperatures still rising on track the stage is set for a scorching first qualifying session of the 2007 season this afternoon.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Timo Glock iSport International 1:42.223 14
2. Luca Filippi Super Nova International 1:42.847 + 0.624 12
3. Alexandre Negrao Minardi Piquet Sports 1:43.021 + 0.798 13
4. Kazuki Nakajima DAMS 1:43.052 + 0.829 11
5. Lucas di Grassi ART Grand Prix 1:43.123 + 0.900 11
6. Antonio Pizzonia FMS International 1:43.148 + 0.925 14
7. M.Ammermuller ART Grand Prix 1:43.172 + 0.949 12
8. Andreas Zuber iSport International 1:43.307 + 1.084 13
9. Nicolas Lapierre DAMS 1:43.397 + 1.174 10
10. Bruno Senna Arden International 1:43.454 + 1.231 13
11. Javier Villa Racing Engineering 1:43.479 + 1.256 14
12. Mike Conway Super Nova International 1:43.493 + 1.270 16
13. Pastor Maldonado Trident Racing 1:43.641 + 1.418 13
14. Kohei Hirate Trident Racing 1:43.651 + 1.428 10
15. Adrian Zaugg Arden International 1:43.733 + 1.510 13
16. Giorgio Pantano Campos Grand Prix 1:43.839 + 1.616 10
17. Borja Garcia Durango 1:43.850 + 1.627 14
18. Vitaly Petrov Campos Grand Prix 1:43.894 + 1.671 14
19. Karun Chandhok Durango 1:43.963 + 1.740 13
20. Roldan Rodriguez Minardi Piquet Sports 1:44.272 + 2.049 14
21. Jason Tahinci FMS International 1:44.339 + 2.116 12
22. Sergio Jimenez Racing Engineering 1:44.805 + 2.582 7
23. Sakon Yamamoto BCN Competicion 1:44.941 + 2.718 13
24. C.Bakkerud DPR 1:45.542 + 3.319 16
25. Ho-Pin Tung BCN Competicion 1:45.638 + 3.415 14
26. Andy Soucek DPR 1:52.284 + 10.061 2