Valsecchi doubles up for pole position

Italian repeats morning form for top spot

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28 May 2010 - 16:56
Valsecchi doubles up for pole (...)

Davide Valsecchi repeated his free practice trick to claim pole position for tomorrow’s feature race on the last lap of qualifying here in Istanbul, stealing the top spot from Pastor Maldonado and Oliver Turvey.

The Italian came out on top of a session long scrap with his Venezuelan rival, claiming the top spot as the clock rolled down to zero with a lap of 1:34.860, which was just one hundredth of a second faster than Maldonado’s best effort.

With the sweltering heat rising in the period between free practice and qualifying, the tension in the pitlane was thick enough to cut until the cars exploded into life and screamed out onto the circuit.

Maldonado wasted no time in getting to the top of the timesheets, and although Sergio Perez, Racing Engineering pair Dani Clos and Christian Vietoris, and Valsecchi briefly put themselves ahead, it was the Venezuelan who was quickly dictating terms once again.

When the rest of his rivals came in for fresh tyres Maldonado, already on top, stayed out for one last lap, improving his best time once again to set a benchmark of 1:34.875, and it looked as though the story was over, with no one else coming close when they returned to the track. But it turned out that everyone was waiting for that last lap, when the timing screens turned green once more.

The chequered flag waved Maldonado across the line just a fraction off his personal best, while Turvey snuck into P3 with his best qualifying effort in the series to date. But seconds later it was Valsecchi’s name on the top of the screen, with Perez, Sam Bird, Giedo van der Garde, Dani Clos and Charles Pic lining up right behind the top three, with the two rookies improving their times on their last tours to get into the top eight.

Once again the top fifteen drivers were within a second of pole, with the whole field easily within two seconds of the top spot: any mistakes were penalised heavily. Can they repeat the performance? Only time will tell, but tomorrow’s feature race is likely to see the field turn the heat up even further at this baking circuit.

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
01. Davide Valsecchi iSport 1m34.860s 14
02. Pastor Maldonado Rapax 1m34.875s 16
03. Oliver Turvey iSport 1m35.135s 13
04. Sergio Perez Barwa Addax 1m35.194s 13
05. Sam Bird ART Grand Prix 1m35.267s 13
06. Giedo Van der Garde Barwa Addax 1m35.348s 14
07. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m35.364s 14
08. Charles Pic Arden International 1m35.411s 12
09. Alberto Valerio Coloni 1m35.491s 10
10. Luiz Razia Rapax 1m35.527s 15
11. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1m35.664s 10
12. Jules Bianchi ART Grand Prix 1m35.676s 13
13. Giacomo Ricci DPR 1m35.750s 15
14. Michael Herck DPR 1m35.762s 12
15. Max Chilton Ocean Racing 1m35.842s 14
16. Jérôme d’Ambrosio DAMS 1m35.926s 13
17. Josef Kral Super Nova 1m35.955s 7
18. Adrian Zaugg Trident 1m35.957s 13
19. Marcus Ericsson Super Nova 1m35.973s 15
20. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1m36.047s 12
21. Fabio Leimer Ocean Racing 1m36.167s 12
22. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Coloni 1m36.564s 15
23. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden International 1m36.628s 13
24. Ho-Pin Tung DAMS 1m36.663s 14

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