Giedo van der Garde flies to Sakhir pole

Giedo van der Garde signals he's #1

Giedo van der Garde is a happy man: the Caterham Racing driver claimed today’s pole position at the Bahrain International Circuit in 1:42.451, one tenth quicker than Davide Valsecchi. Fabio Leimer took P3 in an thrilling qualifying session.

Esteban Gutiérrez was the first driver to take to the track in the session in Sakhir. He set the early pace with a 1:43.213, but Series leader Valsecchi on Prime Pirelli tires claimed P1 after a stellar lap that saw him set the quickest times in sectors 2 and 3. The Italian’s rival Luiz Razia also improved and moved up to P2, two tenths behind Valsecchi.

The first ten minutes saw Felipe Nasr pushing hard, locking up Turn 10 and nearly coming together with Tom Dillmann. Max Chilton attempted to challenge Valsecchi but made a mistake in the second sector on both tries. The DAMS racer went for another quick lap, but hit traffic in the final part of the track and chose to re-enter the pits to switch to Option tires. Leimer moved up to P3 ahead of Rio Haryanto and Dani Clos.

Chilton eventually found a way around Sector 2 and edged Razia out of P2. His teammate Haryanto also found some extra pace to take P3. Mid-session came and van der Garde lying then on P20 found a clear lap. On Option tires, the Dutchman pushed hard and even made a small mistake in the final sector, but that was enough to do the job and take pole in 1:42.451, one tenth quicker than Valsecchi. Leimer also improved and moved up to P3 again.

As the clock ticked down, traffic intensified and Valsecchi was unable to match the Dutchman’s pace. He re-entered the pits one minute before the end of the session, along with Leimer which left van der Garde to celebrate and enjoy his first pole position of the season. Behind the top 3, Carlin’s pair Chilton and Haryanto ended up P5 and P6 respectively, ahead of Razia, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Clos, Marcus Ericsson and Dillmann.

The Feature Race will start at 4pm local time.


Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:42.451 11
2. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:42.596 11
3. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:42.619 10
4. Max Chilton Carlin 1:42.628 11
5. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:42.691 11
6. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:42.839 10
7. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:42.951 11
8. Dani Clos Barwa Addax Team 1:43.080 11
9. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:43.124 11
10. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1:43.163 13
11. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:43.172 12
12. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:43.206 13
13. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus GP 1:43.213 11
14. Brendon Hartley Ocean Racing Technology 1:43.219 11
15. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:43.311 9
16. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:43.328 12
17. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:43.391 10
18. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:43.447 10
19 Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:43.453 10
20. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:43.599 10
21. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:43.659 10
22. James Calado Lotus GP 1:43.757 12
23. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:43.929 12
24. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:44.100 9
25. Ricardo Texieira Rapax 1:44.850 12
26. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:45.036 11

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