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Caterham's Giedo van der Garde beats rain to grab Hockenheim GP2 pole

Giedo van der GardeCaterham's Giedo van der Garde took pole position, and the four points that go with it, in qualifying for round 15 of the GP2 Series at a soaking-wet Hockenheim on Friday afternoon.

The session began in damp conditions, with a steady drizzle falling. James Calado (Lotus) set the first real representative time, a 1m45.919s, which was quickly topped by van der Garde on 1m45.783s, and then Davide Valsecchi (DAMS) on 1m45.152s.

There was then a tiny sweet-spot in the weather window, with Calado banging in a 1m44.034s, quickly followed by van der Garde topping the times on 1m44.022s. Even as he entered the start/finish straight, van der Garde was greeted with a fresh squall of rain, which quickly soaked the circuit - but his lap was good enough for pole by 0.012 seconds.

Fabio Leimer rose to third before skating off briefly into the Sachs Kurve gravel trap, but his Racing Engineering machine was 0.922s behind the pole time. Leimer will start second, however, when Calado's 10-place grid penalty is taken into account.

Nigel Melker followed his eighth on the grid at Silverstone with fourth (effectively third) at Hockenheim for Ocean, ahead of Coloni's Fabio Onidi. Valsecchi will start fifth, a couple of tenths ahead of team-mate Felipe Nasr.

Third-in-points Esteban Gutierrez qualified ninth, which will be 19th due to his 10-place grid penalty. Championship leader Luiz Razia was 10th fastest and will start eighth, two spots behind title rival Valsecchi.

Series newcomer Sergio Canamasas was an impressive 13th fastest, and will start 12th for Lazarus, which was unable to repair Giancarlo Serenelli's car in time after his big free practice crash.

Besides a couple of spins, the only incident of note was van der Garde's team-mate Rodolfo Gonzalez smacking the barrier on the inside of the kink on the back straight. He qualified 24th.

Pos  Driver               Team                Time       Gap
 1.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham            1m44.022s
 2.  James Calado         Lotus               1m44.034s  + 0.012s
 3.  Fabio Leimer         Racing Engineering  1m44.944s  + 0.922s
 4.  Nigel Melker         Ocean               1m45.063s  + 1.041s
 5.  Fabio Onidi          Coloni              1m45.129s  + 1.107s
 6.  Davide Valsecchi     DAMS                1m45.152s  + 1.130s
 7.  Felipe Nasr          DAMS                1m45.420s  + 1.398s
 8.  Victor Guerin        Ocean               1m45.516s  + 1.494s
 9.  Esteban Gutierrez    Lotus               1m45.613s  + 1.591s
10.  Luiz Razia           Arden               1m45.636s  + 1.614s
11.  Max Chilton          Carlin              1m45.760s  + 1.738s
12.  Tom Dillmann         Rapax               1m45.763s  + 1.741s
13.  Sergio Canamasas     Lazarus             1m45.821s  + 1.799s
14.  Marcus Ericsson      iSport              1m45.870s  + 1.848s
15.  Stefano Coletti      Coloni              1m45.907s  + 1.885s
16.  Nathanael Berthon    Racing Engineering  1m45.917s  + 1.895s
17.  Simon Trummer        Arden               1m45.939s  + 1.917s
18.  Johnny Cecotto Jr    Addax               1m46.103s  + 2.081s
19.  Rio Haryanto         Carlin              1m46.394s  + 2.372s
20.  Josef Kral           Addax               1m46.637s  + 2.615s
21.  Jolyon Palmer        iSport              1m46.651s  + 2.629s
22.  Stephane Richelmi    Trident             1m46.849s  + 2.827s
23.  Julian Leal          Trident             1m47.332s  + 3.310s
24.  Rodolfo Gonzalez     Caterham            1m49.546s  + 5.524s
25.  Ricardo Teixeira     Rapax               1m52.356s  + 8.334s
26.  Giancarlo Serenelli  Lazarus
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