Piccione gives Monaco maiden pole
|By Glenn Freeman||Saturday, February 21st 2009, 14:11 GMT|
Clivio Piccione will start Sunday's A1GP feature race at Kyalami from pole position, the first for Team Monaco in their maiden season.
The former GP2 racer - who will start fourth for the sprint race - benefited from the sessions being red flagged in the final two minutes, before several other front-runners had a chance to complete their final lap.
Malaysia and New Zealand were the only other teams to get a hot lap in before Brazil's Felipe Guimaraes crashed heavily, bringing out the red flag.
It was a remarkable achievement for the Malaysian team, who did not complete a lap during the morning practice sessions due to having an engine change, and they were only able to complete one installation lap with their new powerplant five minutes before qualifying began.
Behind Piccione, Fairuz Fauzy and Earl Bamber, the next 10 cars had to rely on their first attempts for the feature race.
That left John Martin, who initially set the pace, in fourth for Australia, while the teams topping the standings - Switzerland and Ireland - will share row three.
There was more disappointment for free practice front-runners Lebanon, though. The team skipped the first part of feature race qualifying while they fixed a problem on Daniel Morad's car - but he had not completed a lap by the time of the red flag, so will start at the back.
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Clivio Piccione Monaco 1:27.269 2. Fairuz Fauzy Malaysia 1:27.405 + 0.136 3. Earl Bamber New Zealand 1:27.569 + 0.300 4. John Martin Australia 1:28.439 + 1.170 5. Neel Jani Switzerland 1:28.521 + 1.252 6. Adam Carroll Ireland 1:28.593 + 1.324 7. F.Albuquerque Portugal 1:28.773 + 1.504 8. Felipe Guimaraes Brazil 1:28.878 + 1.609 9. J.Bleekemolen Netherlands 1:28.926 + 1.657 10. Danny Watts Great Britain 1:29.092 + 1.823 11. Nicolas Prost France 1:29.155 + 1.886 12. Ho-Pin Tung China 1:29.158 + 1.889 13. Salvador Duran Mexico 1:29.343 + 2.074 14. Marco Andretti USA 1:29.487 + 2.218 15. M.Ammermuller Germany 1:29.565 + 2.296 16. Adrian Zaugg South Africa 1:29.884 + 2.615 17. Edoardo Piscopo Italy 1:30.063 + 2.794 18. N.Karthikeyan India 1:30.505 + 3.236 19. Zahir Ali Indonesia No time 20. Daniel Morad Lebanon No time