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DATE News (chronologically)
06/20/08
gp2
GP2: Senna takes pole, then crashes
Senna just before crashing to pole position
Bruno Senna took pole position in the most dramatic way possible this afternoon in Magny-Cours by crossing the line a fraction of a second before hitting the wall heavily after bouncing over the curbs in the final complex, claiming the top spot fractionally ahead of Romain Grosjean and Giorgio Pantano.

The Brazilian's final lap time of 1:22.250 was just 0.037 ahead of Grosjean, who in turn beat the Italian by just 0.014 in one of the most frantic qualifying sessions ever seen in the series. The top three drivers alternated at the top of the timesheets throughout a scorching hot session: with temperatures soaring compared to this morning's free practice there was little to separate most of the drivers, seventeen of whom ultimately lapped within a second of the eventual pole time.

The biggest problem for most of the drivers was traffic: Ho-pin Tung, Alvaro Parente and Luca Filippi all spun on track but continued, and with so many drivers on the short circuit at the same time getting a clear lap was almost impossible before the stop for fresh tires. The three way battle at the front continued until the 25th minute, when Senna's heavy shunt brought out the red flags.

With temperatures in the pits going through the roof the track finally cleared and Lucas di Grassi was the first man on track to take advantage, but when Jerome D'Ambrosio lost his rear and ended up in the gravel trap the resultant yellow flags put paid to anyone else's dreams of improvement.

Behind the top three Andreas Zuber, SĂ©bastien Buemi, di Grassi, Kamui Kobayashi Vitaly Petrov, Pastor Maldonado and Karun Chandhok were left ruing missed opportunities, but they will all be hoping for better things to come in race one tomorrow afternoon.

Senna had spun at the same place in free practice this morning, and must have concluded that the fastest way to finish the lap was by nailing the throttle after jumping the curbs - just like his uncle Ayrton did in qualifying here in 1991, spinning across the finish line.

Senna has now left his iSport crew with rebuilding the car overnight.

Results

Pos

Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Senna iSport International 1:22.250 + 0.000 13
2. Grosjean ART Grand Prix 1:22.287 + 0.037 16
3. Pantano Racing Engineering 1:22.301 + 0.051 18
4. Zuber Piquet Sports 1:22.380 + 0.130 15
5. Buemi Trust Team Arden 1:22.619 + 0.369 15
6. Di Grassi Barwa Campos Team 1:22.708 + 0.458 16
7. Kobayashi Dams 1:22.726 + 0.476 15
8. Petrov Barwa Campos Team 1:22.774 + 0.524 16
9. Maldonado Piquet Sports 1:22.780 + 0.530 14
10. Chandhok iSport International 1:22.821 + 0.571 16
11. Filippi ART Grand Prix 1:22.956 + 0.706 17
12. Soucek Super Nova Racing 1:23.035 + 0.785 16
13. D’Ambrosio Dams 1:23.094 + 0.844 15
14. Conway Trident Racing 1:23.154 + 0.904 16
15. Nunes DPR 1:23.158 + 0.908 15
16. Hanley Durango 1:23.191 + 0.941 16
17. Tung Trident Racing 1:23.331 + 1.081 16
18. Valles BCN Competicion 1:23.372 + 1.122 16
19. Buurman Trust Team Arden 1:23.441 + 1.191 16
20. Rodriguez FMS International 1:23.467 + 1.217 18
21. Parente Super Nova Racing 1:23.787 + 1.537 16
22. Valerio Durango 1:23.853 + 1.603 17
23. Asmer FMS International 1:23.870 + 1.620 16
24. Villa Racing Engineering 1:23.998 + 1.748 15
25. Iaconelli BCN Competicion 1:24.784 + 2.534 15
26. Herck DPR 1:25.668 + 3.418 11

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