Marcus Ericsson dashes to maiden pole

Swedish driver leads 1-2 for DAMS in qualifying session in Barcelona

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By Olivier Ferret

10 May 2013 - 17:05
Marcus Ericsson dashes to maiden (...)

Marcus Ericsson was unbeatable in today’s qualifying session at Circuit de Catalunya: the Swedish ace put his DAMS car at the top of the standings early in the session. His laptime was bettered in the dying minutes by teammate Stéphane Richelmi, but for mere seconds only: Ericsson found extra pace to improve and crossed the finish line in a blazing 1:28.706.

Although ominous dark clouds loomed above the Spanish circuit as the pitlane opened, the track remained dry for the whole session. Series leader Stefano Coletti was quick to claim P1 in 1:29.426, but James Calado went one tenth faster, dropping the Monegasque driver to P2. Ericsson was on a mission and clocked in a laptime of 1:29.095 enough to make him sit pretty at the top. Sam Bird was the first rival to try and snatch pole from the Swede, but he ended up one tenth behind Ericsson. Felipe Nasr was next: the Brazilian’s efforts got him second, a shy 0.05s from P1.

The drivers made their way back to the pits for a fresh set of soft tyres, with Ericsson staying put and observing his competition until the final minutes. The clock kept ticking down and no one could match the Swede’s laptime. Nasr went for another flier, but it was not good enough. Bird made another attempt as well and lit the first sector in purple. He improved on his second sector, but a slow third sector crushed the Brit’s hopes for pole. In the dying minutes, Richelmi was not done with his day: the Monegasque driver found a perfect lap and broke under the 1m29s barrier, setting a laptime of 1:28.871. But his joy was short-lived: just moments after he crossed the finish line, Ericsson improved on his teammate’s time by one tenth thus pocketing his first GP2 pole position.

Behind the DAMS pair, Nasr retained third ahead of Bird with Coletti and Fabio Leimer in tow. Calado finished seventh ahead of rookie Robin Frijns, Kevin Ceccon and Kevin Giovesi. The décor is set for tomorrow’s feature race.

PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:28.706 10
2. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:28.871 10
3. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:29.152 11
4. Sam Bird RUSSIAN TIME 1:29.188 9
5. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:29.213 10
6. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:29.293 11
7. James Calado ART Grand Prix 1:29.318 5
8. Robin Frinjs Hilmer Motorsport 1:29.321 11
9. Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 1:29.424 10
10. Kevin Giovesi Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:29.425 10
11. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:29.609 11
12. Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 1:29.668 10
13. Sergio Canamasas Caterham Racing 1:29.685 10
14. Tom Dillmann RUSSIAN TIME 1:29.739 10
15. Jon Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1:29.759 11
16. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:29.792 10
17. Alexander Rossi Caterham Racing 1:29.804 10
18. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1:29.824 12
19. Mitch Evans Arden International 1:29.936 11
20. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:29.956 11
21. Nathanaël Berthon Trident Racing 1:29.969 10
22. Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 1:30.020 10
23. Johnny Cecotto Arden International 1:30.025 11
24. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:30.025 14
25. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport 1:30.763 10
26. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:30.773 12
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