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Imola Auto GP: Markus Pommer beats Kimiya Sato to pole

Markus Pommer takes Imola Auto GP pole 2014

Markus Pommer grabbed his third pole position of 2014 for Saturday afternoon's ninth round of the Auto GP series at Imola.

The German dominated qualifying, registering several mid-1m31s laps before peaking with a 1m31.401s.

In taking pole, Pommer secures two points and brings the gap to championship leader Kimiya Sato down to just seven points.

Sato could only get within four tenths of a second of Pommer's time, but remains confident for the race having saved valuable Kumho tyres by sitting out the first 12 minutes of Q1.

The only other runner to get in to the 1m31s bracket was Pal Varhaug, who is making a one-off appearance in a Virtuosi UK run Lola-Zytek.

The Norwegian GP3 racer was visibly more confident on the brakes in the qualifying session and improved on his free practice session times by 1.5s. Varhaug's Virtuosi UK team mate Andrea Roda lines up in fifth position on the starting grid.

Sharing the second row with Varhaug will be Kevin Giovesi, who rued encountering traffic at the Variante Alta on what would have been a quicker lap late in the session.

Tamas Pal Kiss was much happier with his Zele Racing Lola-Zytek after Friday was blighted by engine problems. A fresh unit was installed prior to qualifying.

The Hungarian, who is playing catch-up after only a handful of laps thus far at Imola, will start in sixth position just ahead of Michela Cerruti. She lost time on her quick laps due to a downshift problem.

The acrobatic Christof von Grunigen survived several lurid moments and joins Cerruti on the fourth row, while reigning Auto GP champion Vittorio Ghirelli finished a disappointed ninth after his fastest laps were thwarted by a misfire. His FMS Racing crew were preparing for an engine change ahead of the first race.

Pos  Driver                 Team             Time       Gap
 1.  Markus Pommer          Super Nova       1m31.401s
 2.  Kimiya Sato            Euronova         1m31.871s  +0.470s
 3.  Pal Varhaug            Virtuosi UK      1m31.897s  +0.496s
 4.  Kevin Giovesi          FMS Racing       1m32.013s  +0.612s
 5.  Andrea Roda            Virtuosi UK      1m32.139s  +0.738s
 6.  Tamas Pal Kiss         Zele             1m32.220s  +0.819s
 7.  Michela Cerruti        Super Nova       1m32.748s  +1.347s
 8.  Christof Von Grunigen  Zele             1m33.201s  +1.800s
 9.  Virttorio Ghirelli     FMS              1m33.344s  +1.943s
10.  Francesco Dracone      Super Nova       1m34.125s  +2.724s
11.  Michele La Rosa        MLR 71/Euronova  1m34.490s  Q1
12.  Giuseppe Cipriani      Ibiza            1m34.946s  Q1
13.  Salvatore De Plano     Euronova         1m39.718s  Q1
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