Rio Haryanto clinches maiden GP2 pole at waterlogged Spa

Haryanto displays superlative skill during the adverse weather conditions at Spa!

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31 August 2012 - 17:37

Indonesian sensation Rio Haryanto has stormed to his maiden GP2 pole for Saturday’s feature race, after once again showing his superlative wet weather skills around the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The Carlin driver will line-up alongside James Calado on the grid, with the second row consisting of Esteban Gutierrez and Marcus Ericsson.

The vital qualifying session was initially delayed by several minutes due to the adverse weather conditions, with the rain having lashed down upon the circuit on and off for the majority of the day. However, once the session finally got underway it was Rio Haryanto who led out the traditional long queue of awaiting drivers. The conditions had minimally improved since the morning’s practice session, however the track was still perilous in places.

Johnny Cecotto jr., who endured a heavy incident during practice, set the first timed lap of the session with a 02:23.602. This was almost immediately better by the Carlin of Rio Haryanto, who set a 02:22.377. However, with the rain subsiding slightly, the times quickly began to tumble in traditional GP2 qualifying fashion.

The Caterham of Giedo van der Garde and the Lotus of James Calado shared the top spot as the session progressed, before Haryanto once again asserted his authority over the damp proceedings. Once the drivers had pitted for fresher wet weather tyres, quick times began to emerge once again throughout the pack, as James Calado and then Marcus Ericsson shot to the top spot on the timing sheets.

However, pole position for the feature race was destined for only one man throughout the wet qualifying session. Rio Haryanto stormed to the top with only minutes remaining in the session with a 02:17.535, as the Indonesian driver showed further examples of his apt skill in adverse weather conditions. One of his most memorable victories during his GP3 career came at the Nurburgring in similar conditions, however the Indonesian driver was then tip-toeing around the track on slick tyres.

Hopefully wet weather tyres won’t be necessary for tomorrow afternoon’s feature race, as Rio Haryanto searches for his maiden GP2 race victory. His personal best finish so far this season was 5th at the European Grand Prix feature race, a result he’ll be striving to emulate once the five red lights go out tomorrow.

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PosDriverTeamLaptimeLaps
1. Rio Haryanto Carlin 2:17.535 13
2. James Calado Lotus GP 2:17.643 11
3. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus 2:17.736 12
4. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 2:18.058 11
5. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 2:18.368 12
6. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 2:18.397 12
7. Sergio Canamasas Venezuela GP Lazarus 2:18.582 11
8. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 2:18.603 11
9. Felipe Nasr DAMS 2:18.801 12
10. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 2:18.930 11
11. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 2:19.328 12
12. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 2:19.721 12
13. Max Chilton Carlin 2:19.803 12
14. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 2:20.100 12
15. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 2:20.224 12
16. Victor Guerin Ocean Racing Technology 2:20.289 13
17. Julian Leal Trident Racing 2:20.455 13
18. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 2:20.484 13
19. Luiz Razia Arden International 2:20.712 11
20. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 2:20.752 11
21. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 2:20.888 11
22. Daniel De Jong Rapax 2:20.921 13
23. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 2:21.070 11
24. Simon Trummer Arden International 2:21.790 13
25. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 2:21.942 4
26. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 2:22.795 11

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