Aug 31

Haryanto sails to pole in Spa

Indonesian on top in wet qualifying 

GP2 SeriesGP2 - Rio Haryanto (Carlin)

Rio Haryanto has grabbed his maiden GP2 pole position in treacherous conditions to top a very wet qualifying session this afternoon in Spa Francorchamps, setting the pace throughout to lead home Lotus teammates James Calado and Esteban Gutiérrez.

The Indonesian’s best time of 2:17.535 put him on pole by over a tenth in a session where he seemed to be able to improve at will, while his rivals slithered and slid all around the fabled circuit.

Once again the weather caused delays to the start of the session, but Haryanto was the first man on track and was soon setting the pace for his rivals, with Giedo van der Garde and Calado his main competitors on the timesheets. But whenever the others got close, the Indonesian seemed to find something else to improve his times as the session wound on.

Marcus Ericsson was Haryanto’s closest rival as the field came back to the pits halfway through the session, and when they re-emerged first Calado and then the Swede pushed hard to put themselves on the top spot, but the Indonesian eased his way to pole with four minutes remaining before watching as the Lotus duo tried and failed to match his time.

Behind the top three were iSport teammates Ericsson and Jolyon Palmer, ahead of Davide Valsecchi, Sergio Canamasas, this morning’s fastest man Fabio Leimer, Felipe Nasr and Giedo van der Garde. With changeable conditions likely, tomorrow’s feature race promises to live up to the circuit’s usual reputation for fireworks.

Spa-Francorchamps – Qualifying
Rio Haryanto
James Calado
Lotus GP
Esteban Gutiérrez
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International
Jolyon Palmer
iSport International
Davide Valsecchi
Sergio Canamasas
Venezuela GP Lazarus
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
Felipe Nasr
Giedo van der Garde
Caterham Racing
Stefano Coletti
Scuderia Coloni
Nathanaël Berthon
Racing Engineering
Max Chilton
Fabio Onidi
Scuderia Coloni
Josef Kral
Barwa Addax Team
Victor Guerin
Ocean Racing Technology
Julian Leal
Trident Racing
Ricardo Teixeira
Luiz Razia
Arden International
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Caterham Racing
Nigel Melker
Ocean Racing Technology
Daniel De Jong
Stéphane Richelmi
Trident Racing
Simon Trummer
Arden International
Johnny Cecotto
Barwa Addax Team
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus

source: GP2 Series

Barwa Addax

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source: addaxteam.com


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source: dams.fr

Racing Eng.

Fabio Leimer to start from the 4th row of the grid for Racing Engineering following a very wet Spa qualifying.

Appalling conditions greeted the GP2 teams and drivers this morning for the 30 minute free practice session with grey skies and very heavy rain. Nearly all of the cars took to the track as the session began but times were largely meaningless as the drivers slid all around the circuit as they fought for grip and several cars were soon spinning off the track.

At the 15 minute mark Fabio Leimer took the 3rd fastest lap with a time of 2:26.175s and then with just over 4 minutes remaining a lap of 2:22.580s saw the young Swiss move to the top of the timing sheets.

An accident to Cecotto caused the session to be red flagged with 2 minutes remaining leaving Leimer nearly a second faster than anyone else with Nathanaël Berthon in 24th with a time of 2:31.938s.

The afternoon qualifying session saw the weather conditions still poor and, although the rain had stopped by the time the cars took to the track 15 minutes later than scheduled, the surface was still very wet and all the cars were using the Pirelli wet tyres. Once again all the cars took to the track straight away in order to discover the conditions first hand and to set a time in case of further rain.

Leimer’s first flying lap saw him go third fastest with a time of 2:21.625s but the times were dropping rapidly and his second lap was nearly two seconds faster. With 16 minutes gone, as track conditions continued to get better, Leimer improved to 2:18.163s to take 3rd place.

With 10 minutes remaining most of the drivers called into the pits to make some final adjustments and fit new tyres.

Berthon was also lapping quickly from the start and a time of 2:22.179s saw him in 16th place after 10 minutes and a one second improvement on the next lap moved him up to 13th, and with less than 2 minutes remaining the young Frenchman took 12th place with a 2:19.721s.

As the session drew to a close Leimer’s last lap saw a slight improvement but it left him in 8th place and Berthon’s earlier time was good enough for 12th place.

With the weather forecast tomorrow predicting a dry race, both of the Racing Engineering drivers will be looking to gain as many places as possible in the 25 lap Feature Race and with the long Spa Francorchamps circuit offering a number of overtaking opportunities their chances of a podium finish are good.


  • Race 1: Sat 01 Sep 2012, 15:40 (GMT+2)
  • Race 2: Sun 02 Sep 2012, 10:35 (GMT+2)

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering:

“Today we faced quite difficult track conditions with an extreme amount of water, especially in free practice. After the good result by Fabio in free practice, where he set the fastest lap time, we can only be disappointed by not being in the top 3 in qualifying. The circuit was drying a bit towards the end of the session, and we were not able to take full advantage of this. However, 12th position for Nathanaël shows good progress under these conditions from our rookie. The rest of the weekend should be dry and it will be a challenge for drivers and teams to prepare tomorrow’s race as it will be this weekend’s first dry session.”

Fabio Leimer:

“Free practice was very good, although at the beginning of the session it was quite dangerous with so much water on track. In qualifying the track conditions were better with less water, which also meant the track itself changed. I think towards the end of the session we suffered a bit from this as our car’s balance was set up for more water on the track, so qualifying was not perfect today. But we will work on the preparation for tomorrow’s race now and I will push hard to finish on the podium.”

Nathanaël Berthon:

“I am quite happy about the job we did between free practice and qualifying, I wasn’t really worried after free practice, but it’s always good to confirm the pace. 12th position in qualifying was not the maximum, but the balance of the car kept me from making a better lap time. But I think we improved in the rain and it’s always good gain some more knowledge.”

source: racing-engineering.com


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source: isportinternational.com

Lotus ART GP2 team

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source: art-grandprix.com

Caterham Racing logo

Caterham Racing

  • GP2 Qualifying
  • Spa, Belgium
  • Friday 31st August 2012

Giedo van der Garde made it into the top ten in the GP2 Spa qualifications after torrential rain delayed the opening sessions of round ten of the championship.

In tough conditions Giedo completed eleven qualifying laps which were split into two runs. The Dutchman’s first outing looked promising as he topped the timesheets, putting in a quickest lap time of 2:18.930, but unfortunately he was not able to get the best from his second set of tyres and ended the 30-minute session tenth on the grid for Saturday’s feature race.

His teammate Rodolfo Gonzalez recorded a quickest lap time of 2:20.752, putting him P20 for race one in Spa, but a grid place penalty handed to Fabio Onidi in Budapest means Rodolfo will start tomorrow’s race from P19.

Giedo van der Garde – P10 “For various reasons the session this morning did not quite go to plan. We had a problem with the car and red flags disrupted the runs we had scheduled so we were not able to complete our program. When we went out for qualifying the car seemed to behave really well in the wet, we were quick in the early part of the session but as the track started to dry I lost grip. I think it had something to do with our tyre pressures and on our second set of tyres I struggled a bit and so we will start the feature race P10. I was hoping for better but there are lots of good overtaking opportunities here and I believe we have a good setup for tyre management so hopefully we can have a strong start and make up some positions.”

Rodolfo Gonzalez – P19 “I struggled with understeer in the early part of the qualifying session but we made a change midsession and afterwards the car felt a lot better. I instantly improved my lap time but I think by then we had missed the best time to be out on track and unfortunately it was not enough to put me up towards the front. I hope the conditions will be better tomorrow. It would be good to have a dry start and from there hopefully we can have a strong race.”

Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer “With qualifying over I have to admit I am a little disappointed as we were hoping to qualify higher up the field. The weather no doubt played a part in it today, it has been diabolical but of course it has been the same for everybody. Pole-sitter Haryanto got lucky today – he seemed to stay out on the same set of tyres for the entire session and put his best lap together when the track was at its quickest. But looking on the positive side we have two cars back in one piece so we will focus on having a solid race tomorrow. The weather forecast is brighter for the weekend so we will set the cars up accordingly and aim to go out there and score some points.”

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett “Things did not go according to plan today so of course I am a little disheartened. I thought we could do much better here so we have our work cut out to see where things went wrong for us this afternoon. I believe our tyre strategy was right but perhaps it was to do with our tyre pressures. Giedo missed out when he had to back off on a quick lap because of traffic but still I am confident we can score points from P10 on the grid. We do have two major contenders ahead of us so we have some work to do but you can overtake here. It is expected to be dry tomorrow so the pressure is on to get our dry setup right and hopefully we can collect some points at the chequered flag.”

source: caterham-racing.com

Scuderia Coloni



Scuderia Coloni ended today’s qualifying in Spa just shy of the top ten: Stefano Coletti closed the session in 11th place, while Fabio Onidi was 14th.

It wasn’t an easy time for the GP2 drivers as Qualifying was held on a very wet track after that rain poured on the Ardennes track for the whole day. Race direction even delayed the session by 15 minutes in order to give them better conditions to drive on, but when the green light was given the tarmac was still treacherous.

The first laps were around the 2’25” mark and then the times improved until half session, when the falling rain prevented the track from improving further. The conditions made putting three clean sectors together very difficult, but despite that Scuderia Coloni’s drivers did a great job in pushing while still avoiding mistakes: Stefano Coletti managed a 2’19”328 that was worth 11th place, while Fabio Onidi closed the session in P14 with a 2’20”100.

Paolo Coloni: “Today it was really treacherous out there so I’d say that both Stefano and Fabio did a great job in avoiding mistakes. From the team’s standpoint today we had a lot of time to work on the wet set-up, but it seems that it won’t be that useful as forecasts say that we won’t have rain neither tomorrow nor on Saturday”.

source: scuderiacoloni.com

Trident Racing
Trident Racing

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source: tridentracing.it

Venezuela GP Lazarus
Venezuela GP Lazarus

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source: teamlazarus.it

Rapax Team


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source: rapaxteam.com


Arden International, GP2 Series 2012 – Spa Qualifying

Razia and Trummer face tough first race in Spa

Spa-Francorchamps is known for its fickle climate, but conditions were consistent today as GP2 teams returned to action following their one-month summer recess. Consistent, but horrible…

The free practice and qualifying sessions both took place on a treacherously slippery track. The first was red-flagged after Barwa Addax driver Johnny Cecotto crashed and the second began late because there was so much standing water on the circuit. Nor was it just the weather that posed a challenge: Arden International driver Luiz Razia was fourth fastest this morning, but was subsequently unable to match that performance and starts 19th tomorrow as he bids to defend his championship lead. Team-mate Simon Trummer also had a difficult time and qualified 24th.

Luiz Razia comments:

“This hasn’t been the best of days, clearly. This morning the car felt really good in free practice, with a nice balance, and I was confident that would carry over into qualifying. The track was a little bit drier in the afternoon, so we lowered the ride height slightly, but it wasn’t a big change and suddenly the car had massive understeer. We made a few alterations before the second run, but that made it oversteer! We simply didn’t find a balance, but we’ll look at the data and find a solution. On a positive note, overtaking is definitely possible at Spa so a points finish is feasible. That’s my target.”

Simon Trummer comments:

“I have raced at Spa before, but this is my first time here in a GP2 car and conditions were hardly ideal for learning. There was so much standing water that it was difficult to know how much grip was available and it was quite difficult to build confidence. Visibility wasn’t good at times, either, but I’ll put it down as one of those days. I’ve raced well from poor grid positions several times this season and feel sure things will be better tomorrow.”

source: arden-motorsport.com

Ocean Racing

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source: oceanracingtech.com


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source: carlin.co.uk


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source: pirelli.com