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Sep 21

Filippi blazes to Singapore pole (updated)

Italian shines in qualifying session

GP2 SeriesGP2 - Luca Filippi (Scuderia Coloni)Luca Filippi lit up the Singapore circuit with his run to pole in this evening’s qualifying session in Singapore, claiming the top spot in the Series’ first ever night run in a red flag shortened session ahead of Max Chilton and Esteban Gutiérrez.

The Italian took the top spot with two minutes remaining with a time of 1:59.444, claiming pole by less than a tenth mere seconds before Nigel Melker hit the barriers underneath the main grandstand and brought the session to an early close.

With the track now dry thanks to the warm temperatures and the first F1 practice session, conditions were ideal for a scorching battle under the spotlights: the Lotus pair James Calado and Gutiérrez set the early running, along with Felipe Nasr, but when Series leader Davide Valsecchi took the top spot eight minutes in it looked as though he had taken another step towards the title.

However, with most of his competitors in for fresh tyres, Jolyon Palmer had other thoughts and stole provisional pole from the Italian, prompting a rethink up and down the pitlane. As the clock ticked down most of the field were improving, with Chilton, Filippi and Gutiérrez all jumping Valsecchi on the timesheets, and many more looking to move up with them.

Unfortunately for them, Melker’s crash came with so little time remaining that no one would have been able to run another lap, and the session was brought to an early end. Behind the top three Palmer, Fabio Leimer, Valsecchi, Johnny Cecotto, Stefano Coletti, Luiz Razia and Sergio Canamasas will instead have to channel that frustration into tomorrow’s feature race.

Singapore – Qualifying
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Luca Filippi
Scuderia Coloni
1:59.444
10
2.
Max Chilton
Carlin
1:59.496
10
3.
Esteban Gutiérrez
Lotus GP
1:59.908
12
4.
Jolyon Palmer
iSport International
2:00.102
11
5.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
2:00.113
9
6.
Davide Valsecchi
DAMS
2:00.287
10
7.
Johnny Cecotto
Barwa Addax Team
2:00.335
11
8.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
2:00.364
9
9.
Luiz Razia
Arden International
2:00.365
11
10.
Sergio Canamasas
Venezuela GP Lazarus
2:00.634
9
11.
Stéphane Richelmi
Trident Racing
2:00.671
10
12.
Nathanaël Berthon
Racing Engineering
2:00.695
9
13.
Felipe Nasr
DAMS
2:00.720
11
14.
Giedo van der Garde
Caterham Racing
2:00.906
10
15.
James Calado
Lotus GP
2:00.954
10
16.
Rio Haryanto
Carlin
2:01.031
10
17.
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International
2:01.204
10
18.
Nigel Melker
Ocean Racing Technology
2:01.308
10
19
Julian Leal
Trident Racing
2:01.474
9
20.
Fabio Onidi
Scuderia Coloni
2:01.656
6
21.
Simon Trummer
Arden International
2:01.961
10
22.
Victor Guerin
Ocean Racing Technology
2:02.110
10
23.
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Caterham Racing
2:02.260
10
24.
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
2:02.376
10
25.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
2:03.218
10
26.
Ricardo Teixeira
Rapax
2:04.174
11

source: GP2 Series

Barwa Addax

coming soon

source: addaxteam.com

Dams

coming soon

source: dams.fr

Racing Eng.

5th place for Fabio Leimer and Racing Engineering in qualifying at Singapore today.

The GP2 teams and drivers were greeted by rain at the start of the afternoon free practice although it gradually ceased during the session. Even though the track temperature was at 30°, the humidity was 88% meaning that it would take longer for the track to dry than is normal so, although a dry line to begin to appear by the end of the 30 minutes, wet tyres were needed throughout.

As this was the first race for GP2 cars on the Marina Bay street circuit, all the drivers took to the track as soon as the green light was shown in order to maximise the number of laps they could run. Conditions on track were difficult with a lot of standing water and leaves off the racing line on several corners. After eight minutes Nathanaël Berthon went quickest for Racing Engineering with a time of 2:21.717s but lap times were dropping quickly as the drivers got used to the circuit and the track conditions.

As the session reached the halfway point Fabio Leimer went 2nd fastest with a time of 2:17.294s with Berthon just over a second slower in 13th. Fabio continued to get faster and, with one minute remaining, he improved his time to 2:14.671s to stay in 2nd spot, one of only two drivers to get under the 2:15s mark. Nathanaël also went quicker and quicker to end the session in 13th with a lap of 2:16.461s.

The track was dry for the evening qualifying session with the GP2 drivers running under floodlights for the first time, the track temperature had fallen to 27° and the humidity to 77%.

Fabio was immediately on the pace, setting the second fastest time of 2:00.860s after 10 minutes with Nathanaël some two seconds slower and searching for a clean lap. Most of the cars pitted after 15 minutes to fit new tyres and make some final adjustments and with just 8 minutes remaining both Racing Engineering cars were back on track and looking to improve their times.

Fabio was fast once again and with just 3.5 minutes left on the clock he set a time of 2:00.113s for 2nd fastest but with 1.5 minutes left, just as the young Swiss was looking to go faster still, an accident to Melker saw the session red-flagged and the Racing Engineering driver had to settle for 5th on the grid. Nathanaël was similarly affected by the red flag just when he was looking to set his fastest lap and the young Frenchman was left in 12th place with a time of 2:00.695s.

Although both Racing Engineering drivers would have preferred to have started higher up the grid, they will be looking to gain positions in tomorrow’s Feature Race with Fabio aiming to finish in a podium position and Nathanaël wanting to score more points and get a good grid position for the Sunday Sprint Race.

TIMETABLE:

  • Race 1: Sat 22 Sep 2012, 16:00 (GMT+8)
  • Race 2: Sun 23 Sep 2012, 16:10 (GMT+8)

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering:

“Today was even more exciting than expected because heavy rain started shortly before the free practice so no one had an opportunity to do a single lap in dry conditions before the qualifying session. All drivers and teams had to stay confident in their preparation and apply it to the dry qualifying session. Obviously, lap times have improved during the whole session as drivers have pushed the limits further each time. Fabio did a good job but unfortunately got blocked in the third sector of his fastest lap by Melker so we could have seen him higher up than the 5th place where he finished after the session has been red flagged. Nat struggled on the first part of the qualifying and was not feeling comfortable but he did the 12th fastest lap time on his second set of tyres. A faster lap was also possible but he did not the chance to push for an extra lap as the session got interrupted by the red flag.

Overall it is not a bad result and we can have both drivers scoring good points tomorrow. This track difficult and demanding so tomorrow’s race should be quite interesting and drivers will have to be very focused from light to flag to in order perform at their best between Singapore’s walls.”

Fabio Leimer:

“It was not easy on the track today as it was our first time here and it was wet in free practice. Therefore we went into qualification with no idea where the braking points are or what to do about the setup, so to begin with I was just learning the track and I was feeling very comfortable. We put the second set of tyres on and I knew I could go quicker and I was pushing immediately and I was on a quick lap when I was delayed by Melker, I’m sure I could have been third or better. However I am still happy although it’s not easy to overtake but the track is long and fast and I like it here.”

Nathanaël Berthon:

“Free practice was very good as the car went well although I wasn’t pushing hard. I am a bit disappointed with qualifying as I wasn’t happy with the setup of the car on the first set of tyres and I only had one lap on the second set as the red flag came out just as I was improving but P12 is not a disaster. The circuit is wonderful and it’s good to drive here, the track has a lot of grip, it’s a great experience.”

source: racing-engineering.com

iSport

coming soon

source: isportinternational.com

Lotus ART GP2 team

coming soon

source: art-grandprix.com

Caterham Racing logo

Caterham Racing

coming soon

source: caterham-racing.com

Scuderia Coloni

SINGAPORE: FILIPPI AND SCUDERIA COLONI STORM TO POLE IN NIGHT QUALIFYING

Scuderia Coloni and Luca Filippi keep producing magic together: the all-italian pair stormed the GP2 pack to take an amazing pole position in the Singapore night Qualifying session.

Luca and his supersoft-shod Dallara boasted a dominating performance and posted a 1’59”444 that was too quick for the rest of the field. Filippi beated 2nd placed Chilton by 0.05 and Gutierrez was the only other driver to get under the 2 minutes mark, even if half a second adrift from Luca’s pole time.

The others were further behind, with gaps that are very close to the 1” mark. Filippi’s pole is particularly important on a street track, where overtaking should prove particularly difficult.

Meanwhile, Fabio Onidi ended the session in 20th place with a 2’01”656. The Italian driver had closed the morning practice in P11, but considering that he has to serve a ten places penalty on tomorrow’s grid (following the Race 2 crash in Monza) the team decided to save one set of new tyres for the races, in order to boost Fabio’s recovery chances.

Paolo Coloni: “This pole position has a great meaning: on a track that is new to all the teams everybody had to start from a clean sheet, and the ability in finding the right set-up straight out of the box became crucial. This was even more true after that rain washed the morning session, giving us no track time on the dry. All the work we did at home with our engineers and the simulator proved right, and Luca did an amazing job making the most of the car.

Fabio could have started in the top ten, but considering that he has that big ten place penalty we decided for a conservative strategy, saving one set of tyres for the race. We’re confident that he will have the pace to recover”.

source: scuderiacoloni.com

Trident Racing

Trident Racing

coming soon

source: tridentracing.it

Venezuela GP Lazarus

Venezuela GP Lazarus

coming soon

source: teamlazarus.it

Rapax Team

Rapax

coming soon

source: rapaxteam.com

Arden

Arden International, GP2 Series 2012 – Singapore Qualifying

Razia lines up ninth ahead of GP2 finale

The GP2 Series made its first appearance on the Marina Bay street circuit, Singapore, this evening and drivers had to cope with mixed conditions as the track morphed from exceptionally wet, during free practice, to completely dry.

Arden driver Luiz Razia must overturn a 25-point deficit to wrest the 2012 title from season-long rival Davide Valsecchi and the pair line up ninth and sixth respectively for tomorrow’s feature race. Razia needs to finish several positions ahead of Valsecchi to prevent the Italian clinching the crown before Sunday’s seasonal finale.

Razia’s team-mate Simon Trummer qualified 21st in a session that was cut slightly short, because Ocean driver Nigel Melker slid into the Turn 18 barriers and blocked the track.

Luiz Razia comments:

“There was a huge amount of standing water during free practice, so conditions were pretty tricky, but it was at least a useful opportunity to learn a track that’s new for most of the GP2 guys. The car felt good and I was confident that I could earn a strong grid position, but I was unable to put in a quick qualifying lap because of the red flag at the end. I know other drivers were affected, too, but it definitely cost me a few places on the grid and that could obviously have an effect on my title hopes. I know what I have to do, though, and won’t give up the fight.”

Simon Trummer comments:

“This is an interesting weekend on many levels. A couple of drivers have raced previously at Marina Bay, in junior categories, but it’s a new venue for most of us and it wasn’t easy to learn when track conditions were so wet. Driving under floodlights is a new experience, too, although I only had to adjust to that for qualifying and it should be lighter for both races. The car didn’t feel too bad, but I struggled a little with traffic and was still trying to find a gap when the session was stopped. I don’t think it will be particularly easy to overtake and it’s going to be tough in the oppressive heat, especially as there’s so little margin for error. I’ll do my best, though, as always.”

source: arden-motorsport.com

Ocean Racing

coming soon

source: oceanracingtech.com

Carlin Carlin

coming soon

source: carlin.co.uk

Pirelli

coming soon

source: pirelli.com