AUTO GP: GROSJEAN TAKES DEBUT POLE-POSITION AT SPA
Three out of three for Romain Grosjean. After posting the fastest time both in the first and in the second practice, Romain Grosjean clinched an impressive debut pole-position in the Auto GP Qualfiying in Spa-Francorchamps, confirming his immediate feeling with the Lola-Zytek. The French driver stopped the clocks on 2'03"154, a time that nobody managed to beat in a very strange session; due to the dirt taken on the asphalt by the International GT Open race, the first set of tyres was used by the drivers just to clean the track a bit, leaving just the second set to be used to post really competitive times. If this wasn't enough, the race direction was forced to stop the session with one minute and a half to go because of a light crash by Stefano Bizzarri at Pouhon, exactly while a lot of drivers were improving their laptimes. In such a difficult situation Luca Filippi was able to take the other spot on the first row, lapping 4 tenths slower than Grosjean.
Behind the first row the fight was really tight: Jonny Reid, again competitive with the SuperNova car (2'04"347) will start in third position tomorrow, with Jan Charouz besides him. The Czech driver confirmed the steady improvement he already showed in Free Practice and even admitted that without a little mistake he could have beaten Reid's laptime, being just 0.08 adrift. One tenth far from second row was Giorgio Pantano, fifth in front of Duncan Tappy. Fabio Onidi and Edoardo Piscopo will share fourth row with an identical laptime (2'04"899), but the Lazarus driver will start in front of his Dams colleague because he posted his time first. Carlos Iaconelli and Fabrizio Crestani, this time racing with Trident, are closing the top-ten.
Romain Grosjean:"I couldn't hope for anything better. I have to say thanks to DAMS because they made my return on single-seaters really easy, and I hope to be able to give them the win they deserve tomorrow. Regarding qualifying, I think that the track was slower because of the dirt and the heat, but I managed to improve anyway because in qualifying you always push as hard as you can".
Luca Filippi:"I knew that I was fast enough to be among the three fastest drivers, but in such a chaotic session I was also lucky because getting out of the pits one minute later would have meant being halted by the red flag. I want to say a big thank you to the Euronova guys because they worked hard to rebuild my car after the crash, and it was perfect today".
Jonny Reid:"I'm really happy of this third place because the last time raced in Spa it was 2004 and this track is a real challenge lap after lap. My gap from Grosjean is big but Spa is a very long circuit, around 7 kms, so if an opponent has a better balanced car it's easy for him to build a large advantage".
Qualifying1 Romain Grosjean DAMS 2'03"154
2 Luca Filippi EURONOVA 2'03"616
3 Jonny Reid SUPERNOVA RACING 2'04"347
4 Jan Charouz CHAROUZ-GRAVITY RACING 2'04"420
5 Giorgio Pantano SUPERNOVA RACING 2'04"533
6 Duncan Tappy DAMS 2'04"615
7 Fabio Onidi LAZARUS 2'04"899
8 Edoardo Piscopo DAMS 2'04"899
9 Carlos Iaconelli DURANGO 2'05"116
10 Fabrizio Crestani TRIDENT RACING 2'05"215
11 Adrien Tambay CHAROUZ-GRAVITY RACING 2'05"537
12 Julian Leal TRIDENT RACING 2'05"579
13 Celso Miguez RP MOTORSPORT 2'06"330
14 Stefano Bizzarri RP MOTORSPORT 2'06"530
15 Natacha Gachnang CHAROUZ-GRAVITY RACING 2'07"696
All pictures Auto GP.