AUTO GP: IACONELLI WINS AGAIN
Different track, different weather conditions but the result is the same: as at Magny-Cours Romain took the Auto GP pole, being the quickest after a very difficult session due to the wet track. Rain showered the track for a while in the morning but then it stopped just before qualifying, leaving the track to dry lap after lap. In this conditions qualifying became a strategy game, with all teams and drivers trying to make the most of the last minutes of session, when the asphalt conditions were getting better and better. Besides this, nearly all teams didn't have any experience with these cars on a wet track, so finding the right set-up included also a bit of gambling.
In these conditions Grosjean made the most of his experience and talent and clinched pole with 1'45"722, leaving Esteban Guerrieri 2 tenths behind: for the Argentinian driver it was a really good debut and his team, Charouz-Gravity Racing, can also celebrate Adrien Tambay's third place. The French driver was struggling with set-up glitches on the dry track, but on the wet he had a better feeling with the car.
Duncan Tappy was among the quickest drivers for the whole session and 4th in the end, being very fast in the first and second sector. Behind him was the other newcomer of the weekend, Jake Rosenzweig, making the most of a right SuperNova strategy that sent him on track for a fast lap in the last available minute. The US driver was ahead of Fabio Onidi, always at ease on the wet, and Stefano Bizzarri: the Italian, despite being the field's least experienced driver, had a great pace on the damp track and without a mistake in the Estoril corner he could have clinched an even better laptime.
Behind Bizzarri were his team-mate Celso Miguez, Jan Charouz and Julian Leal. Giorgio Pantano was out of the top-ten with a difficult wet set-up, as well as Carlos Iaconelli, Edoardo Piscopo and Jonny Reid.
Today's race will be interesting also because the team will have to decide what to do with the cars. The track is dry now, but the weather is very changeable.
Romain Grosjean:"The track was getting better and better and I could have been even quicker without some traffic in the last lap. Anyway I'm happy of the job I did with DAMS. Maybe I had some advantage on the other drivers because I know the track very well, but in 2006 they changed asphalt and the old 'wet line' isn't good anymore, so I had to find the new one!".
Esteban Guerrieri:"It wasn't an easy session because the track was drying quickly. In the end we decided to use both sets of rain tyres and I think it was the right choice. I could have been even a bit quicker without a mistake in the first sector".
Adrien Tambay:"With the wet track my set-up issues were less hampering and so I could push as I wanted. With the team we decided to save one set of tyres for the race, and even if this costed us maybe one place I hope it will be an advantage for the race".
Qualifying1 Romain Grosjean DAMS 1'45"722
2 Esteban Guerrieri CHAROUZ-GRAVITY RACING 1'45"918
3 Adrien Tambay CHAROUZ-GRAVITY RACING 1'46"074
4 Duncan Tappy DAMS 1'46"369
5 Jake Rosenzweig SUPERNOVA RACING 1'46"799
6 Fabio Onidi LAZARUS 1'47"505
7 Stefano Bizzarri RP MOTORSPORT 1'48"040
8 Celso Miguez RP MOTORSPORT 1'48"085
9 Jan Charouz CHAROUZ-GRAVITY RACING 1'48"121
10 Julian Leal TRIDENT RACING 1'48"283
11 Giorgio Pantano EURONOVA RACING 1'48"376
12 Carlos Iaconelli DURANGO 1'48"422
13 Edoardo Piscopo DAMS 1'48"554
14 Jonny Reid SUPERNOVA RACING 1'50"710
All pictures Auto GP.
Romain Grosjean took pole position.
Second was Esteban Guerrieri.
Third for Adrien Tambay.
Duncan Tappy took fourth.
Jake Rosenzweig was fifth...
...Fabio Onidi sixth.
Seventh for Stefano Bizzarri.
Celso Miguez completed the top eight.