Jules Bianchi grabs Bahrain pole

ART Grand Prix ace claimed maiden pole

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25 February 2010 - 15:34
Jules Bianchi grabs Bahrain pole

In what will go down in history as one of the most thrilling GP2 qualifying sessions ever, Frenchman Jules Bianchi snatched his first GP2 pole position in an extremely close battle with Series leader Davide Valsecchi today at Sakhir in the third round of the season. Bianchi placed his car on the top spot by just 0.003 seconds on his very last lap.

On a much cleaner track compared to this morning’s practice session, the ART man made a statement very early into the qualifying session, topping the timing sheet ahead of returnee Alvaro Parente and Javier Villa. On a different tyre strategy and leaving the pits later than most, Valsecchi waited for a clear lap in the middle of the session to push back Bianchi in second place, while the Italian’s teammate Oliver Turvey moved up to third place.

With ten minutes left on the clock, Luca Filippi moved to provisional pole, but not for long though as Bianchi, clearly on a mission and on a flyer, improved in the first and third sectors while setting an impressive second sector. Meanwhile, Villa moved up to second place, pushing Valsecchi back to fourth.

In the last sixty seconds of the session, Valsecchi improved his best laptime and looked set to claim his second pole position of the season. By then, the top 4 was within six hundredths. In his last effort and ten seconds before the chequered flag, Bianchi found it in him to improve even more earning his first GP2 pole position.

Behind Bianchi and Valsecchi, Villa and Filippi remained respectively third and fourth while Parente finished a strong fifth for Coloni ahead of Turvey, Giacomo Ricci, GP2 Asia race winner Christian Vietoris, Round 2 poleman Charles Pic and Sergio Perez. Tomorrow’s feature race will start at 1pm local time.

Pos. Driver Team Time Gap
01. Bianchi ART Grand Prix 1:43.474 + 0.000
02. Valsecchi iSport 1:43.478 + 0.004
03. Villa Arden International 1:43.519 + 0.045
04. Filippi Meritus 1:43.523 + 0.049
05. Parente Coloni 1:43.714 + 0.240
06. Turvey iSport 1:43.818 + 0.344
07. Ricci DPR 1:43.918 + 0.444
08. Vietoris DAMS 1:44.086 + 0.612
09. Pic Arden International 1:44.172 + 0.698
10. Perez Barwa Addax 1:44.246 + 0.772
11. Bird ART Grand Prix 1:44.253 + 0.779
12. Piscopo DAMS 1:44.338 + 0.864
13. Chilton Barwa Addax 1:44.617 + 1.143
14. Herck DPR 1:44.671 + 1.197
15. Rossi Meritus 1:44.713 + 1.239
16. Buurman Ocean Racing 1:44.724 + 1.250
17. Arabadzhiev Rapax 1:44.759 + 1.285
18. Zaugg Trident 1:44.781 + 1.307
19. Zampieri Rapax 1:45.079 + 1.605
20. Bratt Coloni 1:45.320 + 1.846
21. Leimer Ocean Racing 1:45.371 + 1.897
22. Kral Super Nova 1:45.424 + 1.950
23. Rosenzweig Super Nova 1:45.980 + 2.506
24. Kralev Trident 1:47.243 + 3.769

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