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DATE News (chronologically)
03/23/12
gp2
Davide Valsecchi bags Sepang GP2 pole
Davide Valsecchi
Davide Valsecchi set the quickest laptime early in today’s qualifying session with a 1:45.494 on his third lap and was never bettered although his rivals came mighty close with the top five drivers finishing within the same tenth of a second. Luiz Razia and Max Chilton completed the top three.

The first qualifying of the 2012 season kicked off with Esteban Gutiérrez taking to the track first and setting the early pace, but his laptime was improved by one hundredth by Johnny Cecotto. Valsecchi claimed P1 and provisional pole in the first third of the session dipping under 1m46. His teammate Felipe Nasr moved up to P2, but only temporarily as a flying Fabio Leimer clocked a laptime good enough to edge out the Brazilian and close in on Valsecchi, a mere 0.09s slower than the Italian.

A yellow flag was given after Rodolfo Gonzalez went a bit too wide and when the track cleared, Chilton was free to push hard and slipped into P2, 0.06s away from Valsecchi’s best time. As most of the drivers re-entered the pits for some fresh rubbers, Stefano Coletti took advantage of a clear track to move up to P3.

The final ten minutes saw an intense battle for pole and it was Razia who was fastest in Sectors 2 and 3 and shot to P2 a shy 0.6s behind Valsecchi. The Italian, Razia, Chilton, Coletti and Leimer finished within the same tenth whilst the top nineteen drivers were covered by 0.9s. James Calado, Jolyon Palmer, Giedo van der Garde, Fabio Onidi and Nasr rounded up the top ten.

A question mark remains though regarding the tire strategy that the drivers have opted for. Tomorrow’s race will be long and preserving the rubbers will be key. One thing is for certain: Valsecchi will have to fight with all his might to keep his hungry rivals at bay.

Sepang – Qualifying
Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:45.494 10
2. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:45.554 11
3. Max Chilton Carlin 1:45.558 12
4. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:45.577 9
5. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:45.588 11
6. James Calado Lotus GP 1:45.638 8
7. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:45.758 11
8. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:45.773 12
9. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:45.810 10
10. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:45.942 10
11. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:46.012 11
12. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:46.138 10
13. Stephane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:46.150 13
14. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:46.160 12
15. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus GP 1:46.186 13
16. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1:46.264 12
17. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:46.392 12
18. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:46.428 12
19 Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:46.489 6
20. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:46.557 13
21. Jon Lancaster Ocean Racing Technology 1:46.662 13
22. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:46.868 12
23. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:46.962 11
24. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:47.004 12
25. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:48.113 12
26. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Mazarus 1:49.620 14
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