Pic powers to Monza GP2 pole Charles Pic has claimed his third pole position of the year, pipping local hero Luca Filippi to the post (and handing the Italian his fourth P2 in a row in qualifying) in this afternoon's scorching qualifying session in Monza, with Fabio Leimer claiming third with a time which was just one tenth off pole.
Pic's best lap time of 1:32.349 took the wind out of his rivals' sails just seven minutes into the session, although it wasn't for a lack of trying: 19 drivers were within a second of pole on the fast, flowing circuit, but the Frenchman's rivals were just unable to close the gap as the clock wound down to zero.
Filippi was determined to break his unwanted record of runner up positions in qualifying and soon set the fastest time: Leimer and then Romain Grosjean squeezed past at the top of the timesheets, but the Italian was soon back on top with what looked like an unassailable lap: unfortunately for him Pic had other ideas and snatched pole the next time through.
Filippi looked to have enough in the bank on the next lap, but when Esteban Gutierrez lost the rear and went backwards into the fence at the Ascari complex there was no choice but to back down, and the fight was over. Grosjean, Leimer and Alvaro Parente all ran wide in the closing minutes of the session as they looked for more speed, but the damage was done.
Parente and Grosjean follow the top three on the timesheets, ahead of Dani Clos, Christian Vietoris, Adam Carroll, Max Chilton and Sam Bird. The battle for the vice-champion took another twist when Giedo van der Garde and Jules Bianchi were unable to compete, finishing the session in P19 and P20 respectively. But tomorrow is another day, and we can expect the usual fireworks in the feature race in Monza.
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