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Maiden pole position for Stephane Richelmi
Stephane Richelmi
Stephane Richelmi is a happy man: following his first 2013 GP2 podium finish in Silverstone, the Monegasque driver grabbed a maiden pole position at the Nurburgring today out-qualifying teammate Marcus Ericsson by two tenths of a second. Rookie Robin Frijns completed the top three.

The qualifying session opened in similar conditions as this morning’s free practice’s. All twenty-six drivers opted for Super Soft Pirelli tires. Eager to get back to the top, Series leader Stefano Coletti set the early pace in a 1:39.274 although he hit traffic in his final sector. Richelmi was quick to improve on his countryman’s lap time until Ericsson clocked in a time of 1:38.763, a shy six hundredths quicker than Frijns in P2 and with Felipe Nasr third.

Halfway through the session, most of the drivers made their way back into the pits for a fresh set of super soft rubbers. The session heated up again with ten minutes left on the clock and Mitch Evans found the extra pace to slip into third thanks to a purple second sector whilst Fabio Leimer moved up to fifth with a third purple sector. In the final stages of the session, Richelmi put his head down and set a record lap time of 1:38.487. In spite of their best efforts, none of his rivals could match his pace, not even Frijns who did however light the last sector in purple on his final attempt, but it was not enough to edge out the DAMS pair from the top.

At the checkered flag, it was smiles all around at DAMS’ pitwall with both of their cars locking out tomorrow’s front row, Richelmi ahead of Ericsson. Frijns settled for third ahead of Evans, Nasr, Leimer, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (who makes it three rookies in the top seven), James Calado, Sam Bird and Tom Dillmann. This was one close qualifying session with seventeen drivers running within the same second.

Nurburg – Qualifying session

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1:38.487 11
2. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:38.763 11
3. Robin Frijns Hilmer Motorsport 1:38.804 12
4. Mitch Evans Arden International 1:38.848 14
5. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:38.897 12
6. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:38.997 11
7. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport 1:39.006 12
8. James Calado ART Grand Prix 1:39.018 10
9. Sam Bird RUSSIAN TIME 1:39.089 12
10. Tom Dillmann RUSSIAN TIME 1:39.186 10
11. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:39.193 13
12. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:39.243 11
13. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:39.274 13
14. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:39.320 13
15. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:39.374 10
16. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:39.379 12
17. Sergio Canamasas EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:39.465 13
18. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:39.503 14
19 Johnny Cecotto Arden International 1:39.723 14
20. Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 1:39.780 12
21. Nathanael Berthon Trident Racing 1:39.792 12
22. Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 1:39.813 11
23. Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 1:39.876 12
24. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1:39.986 14
25. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:40.986 14
26. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:40.311 13
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