Parente grabs maiden pole at Spa
|By Mark Glendenning||Friday, August 28th 2009, 14:48 GMT|
A late flyer from Alvaro Parente gave him and his Ocean Racing team their first GP2 pole position this afternoon at Spa.
In far sunnier and conditions than those that the field faced in practice this morning, Parente produced a 1m54.970s lap to dislodge Lucas di Grassi from the top spot by just 0.080s with just 20 seconds of the session remaining.
Several quick drivers were still out on the track, but when Roldan Rodriguez stopped on the circuit and brought out the yellows a few moments later, any hopes of bettering Parente's time were dashed and the Portguese driver's place at the top was secured.
Points leader Nico Hulkenberg will start from third, alongside iSport's Diego Nunes, who did an outstanding job to record his best-ever qualifying result.
Hulkenberg's main title rival Vitaly Petrov could manage no better than fifth, with Karun Chandhok to join him on the front row.
The session was one of the most competitive of the season and, with the top 17 cars covered by just one second, a couple of tenths shaved off lap times were translating into gains of three or four rows on the grid.
Yet despite the pressure, the afternoon was relatively incident-free, with Davide Rigon providing the only drama when he forced the session to be briefly red-flagged after spinning and stalling at the Bus Stop.
Pos Driver Team Time 1. Alvaro Parente Ocean 1m54.970s 2. Lucas di Grassi Racing Engineering 1m55.050s 3. Nico Hulkenberg ART 1m55.102s 4. Diego Nunes iSport 1m55.150s 5. Vitaly Petrov Barwa Addax 1m55.152s 6. Karun Chandhok Ocean 1m55.170s 7. Sergio Perez Arden 1m55.210s 8. Roldan Rodriguez Piquet 1m55.255s 9. Pastor Maldonado ART 1m55.462s 10. Kamui Kobayashi DAMS 1m55.482s 11. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m55.517s 12. Giedo van der Garde iSport 1m55.560s 13. Javier Villa Super Nova 1m55.785s 14. Davide Rigon Trident 1m55.806s 15. Jerome d'Ambrosio DAMS 1m55.822s 16. Michael Herck DPR 1m55.858s 17. Davide Valsecchi Barwa Addax 1m55.928s 18. Luca Filippi Super Nova 1m56.061s 19. Alberto Valerio Piquet 1m56.063s 20 Edoardo Mortara Arden 1m56.285s 21. Stefano Coletti Durango 1m56.634s 22. Ricardo Teixeira Trident 1m57.688s 23. Nelson Panciatici Durango 1m57.792s 24. Franck Perera DPR 2m24.927s