Palmer flies to Sakhir pole

DAMS driver snatches first pole position of the 2014 season

By Franck Drui

4 April 2014 - 20:24
Palmer flies to Sakhir pole

Jolyon Palmer has started his 2014 GP2 Series campaign in the best possible way: the Briton snatched this season’s first pole position in a blazing 1:38.865 in a tricky session that saw a red flag period. Behind him, rookie Stoffel Vandoorne did not fail to impress the rest of the field: the Belgian ace clocked in a laptime just three hundredths slower than Palmer, but one tenth quicker than Daniel Abt in third place.

The qualifying session opened under the lights of the Bahrain International Circuit and on a much cleaner track compared to this morning’s free practice session. The twenty-six drivers fed onto the track on Pirelli Soft tyres. Felipe Nasr set the early pace. Vandoorne was on a flyer when he went too wide in Turn 14, but still managed to go top. However, Mitch Evans went even quicker and bettered the Belgian’s time by six thousandths.

On the ten minute mark, Abt found some extra pace to clock in a laptime of 1:39.073 and claimed the top spot. Vandoorne improved on his personal best, but had to settle for P2 – one tenth slower than the German. At mid-session, all drivers returned to the pits for a set of fresh rubber. As the action resumed on track, newcomer Artem Markelov span on cold tyres at Turn one and stopped on track. The session was thus red flagged in order to retrieve the Russian’s car.

At the re-start, and with seven minutes left on the clock, the drivers re-joined the track for one last attempt. Palmer put his head down and dipped under 1m38s. Vandoorne also broke that barrier but was unable to beat the Briton’s laptime. Behind this pair, Abt had to settle for third. Stéphane Richelmi, Rio Haryanto, Stefano Coletti, Evans, Felipe Nasr, rookies Raffaele Marciello and Arthur Pic completed the top ten.

1. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:38.865 10
2. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:38.895 10
3. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:39.073 10
4. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:39.081 10
5. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:39.228 11
6. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:39.271 11
7. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:39.274 9
8. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:39.301 10
9. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:39.449 10
10. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:39.462 10
11. Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:39.507 10
12. Julian Leal Carlin 1:39.588 12
13. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:39.615 10
14. André Negrao Arden International 1:39.647 10
15. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:39.651 10
16. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:39.749 11
17. Rene Binder Arden International 1:39.788 9
18. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:39.848 10
19. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 1:39.881 12
20. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:39.928 8
21. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:40.059 11
22. Daniiel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:40.060 10
23. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:40.401 11
24. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:40.408 10
25. Axcil Jefferies Trident 1:40.619 11
26. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:41.172 5



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