Filippi storms to first pole of the year
Luca Filippi has powered his way through an intense first qualifying session for the year to claim his first ever GP2 pole this afternoon in Bahrain. In doing so, he also took the first two points of the 2007 season.
The easygoing Italian put in a stunning lap on one of the tightest qualifying sessions yet seen in the series to take the top spot with a time of 1.40.873, less than a tenth ahead of Xandi Negrao and Andi Zuber.
The pace was furious from the start, with the order changing almost by the second over the opening laps. Javier Villa and Kohei Hirate were squabbling with each other at the top of the timesheets early in the session, before being joined by Mike Conway Lucas di Grassi.
With most drivers putting in times in the 41s the fighting was brought to a brief halt when Filippi took the top spot just as most drivers returned to the pits for a change of tires, changing the game plan for everyone involved.
They returned to the track a few minutes later and the times just under that set by Filippi were creeping ever closer to his mark, with most of the drivers swapping times in the top ten.
Timo Glock in particular was pushing hard, but a few laps later he was back in the pits after admitting defeat: he had no problems with the car, but just couldn't find the last few tenths to take the top spot.
The German's teammate, however, looked to have done enough to claim a front row start, but as the session came to a halt Negrao broke his heart by just sneaking ahead of him for tomorrow's race.
Behind the pair di Grassi, Bruno Senna, Kohei Hirate, Glock and Borja Garcia fill the first four rows, with the top ten drivers split by less than half a second: one second off pole meant you were in 17th position, and the new drivers in the series have been given a real baptism of fire in their first qualifying ordeal of the year.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Luca Filippi Super Nova International 1:40.873
2. Alexandre Negrao Minardi Piquet Sports 1:40.958 + 0.085
3. Andreas Zuber iSport International 1:41.034 + 0.161
4. Lucas Di Grassi ART Grand Prix 1:41.052 + 0.179
5. Bruno Senna Arden International 1:41.203 + 0.330
6. Kohei Hirate Trident Racing 1:41.213 + 0.340
7. Timo Glock iSport International 1:41.225 + 0.352
8. Borja Garcia Durango 1:41.252 + 0.379
9. Kazuki Nakajima DAMS 1:41.306 + 0.433
10. Mike Conway Super Nova International 1:41.332 + 0.459
11. Nicolas Lapierre DAMS 1:41.458 + 0.585
12. Antonio Pizzonia FMS International 1:41.544 + 0.671
13. Giorgio Pantano Campos Grand Prix 1:41.549 + 0.676
14. Adrian Zaugg Arden International 1:41.715 + 0.842
15. M.Ammermuller ART Grand Prix 1:41.746 + 0.873
16. Karun Chandhok Durango 1:41.810 + 0.937
17. Roldan Rodriguez Minardi Piquet Sports 1:41.951 + 1.078
18. Sakon Yamamoto BCN Competicion 1:42.139 + 1.266
19. Pastor Maldonado Trident Racing 1:42.189 + 1.316
20. Jason Tahinci FMS International 1:42.234 + 1.361
21. Javier Villa Racing Engineering 1:42.255 + 1.382
22. Sergio Jimenez Racing Engineering 1:42.492 + 1.619
23. Vitaly Petrov Campos Grand Prix 1:42.561 + 1.688
24. Ho-Pin Tung BCN Competicion 1:43.001 + 2.128
25. Andy Soucek DPR 1:43.257 + 2.384
26. C.Bakkerud DPR 1:43.333 + 2.460