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Calado fastest for Lotus in GP2 qualifying at Valencia street circuit

James CaladoJames Calado will start from pole position in Saturday's GP2 Series feature race in Valencia after setting the fastest time in qualifying around the Spanish port-side street circuit in his Lotus GP machine.

Calado produced a phenomenal performance in the 30-minute session, putting in two laps good enough for pole position within 0.005 seconds of each other.

His strategy of running first on the soft tyre, as opposed to the super-soft, paid dividends and his opening gambit of 1m47.347s was soon followed up by a 1m47.342s lap on the same rubber.

Calado ended the session 0.007s clear of Felipe Nasr of DAMS, and even found time for a quick spin on his final run on super-softs, on which he did not improve.

Calado's team-mate Esteban Gutierrez was third quickest, a tenth off pole position, with points leader Davide Valsecchi (DAMS) fourth. Valsecchi opted to run on super-softs from the start, but his cause was not helped when the session was interrupted before it had properly begun, when Lazarus' Giancarlo Serenelli spun at Turn 8 - the corner before the bridge - and brought out the red flags just as he was starting a flier.

Valsecchi eventually produced a 1m44.458s, but his efforts to improve that on soft tyres in the closing moments were dashed by tailenders Fabrizio Crestani (Lazarus) and Rodolfo Gonzalez (Caterham) squabbling over track position, and he was forced to abort.

Giedo van der Garde will start fifth for Caterham, ahead of Carlin's Max Chilton and Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer - both of whom set their fastest times on super-softs, which bucked the trend of the majority.

iSport duo Jolyon Palmer and Marcus Ericsson were only eighth and ninth fastest, despite impressing in practice this morning, while points runner-up Luiz Razia of Arden will start down in 11th. He suffered a lurid slide when he locked-up at Turn 1 as he tried in vain to improve.

Pos  Driver               Team                Time       Gap
 1.  James Calado         Lotus               1m47.342s
 2.  Felipe Nasr          DAMS                1m47.349s  + 0.007s
 3.  Esteban Gutierrez    Lotus               1m47.444s  + 0.102s
 4.  Davide Valsecchi     DAMS                1m47.458s  + 0.116s
 5.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham            1m47.543s  + 0.201s
 6.  Max Chilton          Carlin              1m47.674s  + 0.332s
 7.  Fabio Leimer         Racing Engineering  1m47.779s  + 0.437s
 8.  Jolyon Palmer        iSport              1m47.801s  + 0.459s
 9.  Marcus Ericsson      iSport              1m47.972s  + 0.630s
10.  Rio Haryanto         Carlin              1m47.996s  + 0.654s
11.  Luiz Razia           Arden               1m48.155s  + 0.813s
12.  Tom Dillmann         Rapax               1m48.176s  + 0.834s
13.  Stefano Coletti      Coloni              1m48.222s  + 0.880s
14.  Stephane Richelmi    Trident             1m48.288s  + 0.946s
15.  Johnny Cecotto       Addax               1m48.390s  + 1.048s
16.  Nathanael Berthon    Racing Engineering  1m48.518s  + 1.176s
17.  Simon Trummer        Arden               1m48.565s  + 1.223s
18.  Fabio Onidi          Coloni              1m48.578s  + 1.236s
19.  Josef Kral           Addax               1m48.626s  + 1.284s
20.  Julian Leal          Trident             1m48.641s  + 1.299s
21.  Fabrizio Crestani    Lazarus             1m48.846s  + 1.504s
22.  Rodolfo Gonzalez     Caterham            1m48.936s  + 1.594s
23.  Nigel Melker         Ocean               1m49.021s  + 1.679s
24.  Victor Guerin        Ocean               1m49.335s  + 1.993s
25.  Daniel de Jong       Rapax               1m49.900s  + 2.558s
26.  Giancarlo Serenelli  Lazarus
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