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Romain Grosjean sets the early GP2 pace in Spa
Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean has started to put pressure on his rivals on what could be his weekend to glory in the eighth round of the 2011 GP2 Series season. The Dams driver set the quickest laptime of this morning’s free practice in Spa-Francorchamps ahead of local hero Michael Herck and Marcus Ericsson.

The track conditions that greeted the twenty-six drivers were damp, but they chose to get their first taste of the Belgium track on slick tires. However, the session was soon red flagged as Jolyon Palmer lost control of his Arden car at La Source and crashed into the barrier. When the track was clear, almost ten minutes had already gone and it was Johnny Cecotto who set the first quickest flying lap. Soon enough, Grosjean moved up to the top of timesheet with a fastest laptime of 2:00.634.

Title rival Giedo van der Garde tried hard to beat the Frenchman’s best laptime and ended up P2. The Dutchman kept his head down, but the tricky track conditions meant that some sectors were slippery. The Addax man went a bit wide at Turn 12 and had to dive into the pits.

By mid-session, Herck and Ericsson had bettered van der Garde’s laptime, but could not knock Grosjean off the top spot. All drivers re-entered the pits for some fresh rubbers, but the weather forecast predicted more rain to come and thus started a waiting game in order to decide which compound they should chose for the second half of the session. Eventually, the rain started to pick up again and with less than five minutes left on the clock, drivers rejoined the track on wet weather tires. Grosjean’s time remained unbeaten.

The qualifying session will start at 3:55pm local time and in the heart of the Ardennes, the unpredictable weather will remain an important factor while the fight for pole will be raging.

Spa-Francorchamps – Free Practice

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Romain Grosjean Dams 2:00.634 7
2. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 2:01.413 8
3. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 2:01.414 8
4. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 2:01.438 7
5. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 2:01.467 6
6. Luiz Razia Caterham Team AirAsia 2:01.523 8
7. Max Chilton Carlin 2:01.650 7
8. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 2:01.741 8
9. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 2:01.852 8
10. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 2:01.950 9
11. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 2:02.049 7
12. Sam Bird iSport International 2:02.160 9
13. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 2:02.169 5
14. Julian Leal Rapax 2:02.180 8
15. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 2:02.702 7
16. Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology 2:02.885 5
17. Josef Kral Arden International 2:03.135 7
18. Davide Valsecchi Caterham Team AirAsia 2:03.403 8
19 Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 2:03.640 6
20. Luca Filippi Scuderia Coloni 2:03.686 8
21. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 2:03.934 7
22. Fabio Leimer Rapax 2:04.892 8
23. Pal Varhaug Dams 2:05.827 8
24. Brendon Hartley Ocean Racing Technology 2:05.875 7
25. Adam Carroll Super Nova Racing 2:09.175 6
26. Jolyon Palmer Arden International -- 0
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