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Fabrizio Crestani takes pole for first Auto GP race at Oschersleben

Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus Oschersleben Auto GP 2011

Fabrizio Crestani snatched pole position for the opening Auto GP race of the weekend, taking it away from Sergei Afanasiev in the final minutes of qualifying at Oschersleben.

Times had already dipped below the official lap record when most drivers pitted for fresh rubber halfway through the session, and with the track yielding increasing levels of grip Crestani took full advantage to grab the top spot four minutes from the end for the Lazarus team.

Afanasiev had held provisional pole before the tyre changes and improved his pole mark again with five minutes to go, only to be demoted by Crestani's effort of 1m17.084s, which gave the Italian his maiden pole in the series.

The Russian DAMS driver attempted to respond, becoming the only driver to dip under the 30s bracket in the first sector on his next lap, but was robbed of his pole chance as an accident for Francesco Dracone in sector two brought the red flags out.

With just three minutes remaining when the track went green, nobody inside the top eight was able to improve, leaving Kevin Ceccon (Ombra) and Fabio Onidi (Lazarus) with a share of the second row.

Giovanni Venturini, Samuele Buttarelli and Adrien Tambay all finished within 0.4s of pole in fifth to seventh for the Durango, TP and Campos teams respectively - Tambay managing his best time despite a damaged front wing.

On his Auto GP debut, Formula Renault 3.5 front-runner Kevin Korjus (DAMS) qualified in eighth, ahead of Campos duo Bruno Mendez and Adrian Campos Jr - the latter being only driver to improve his grid position when the session resumed.

Pasquale di Sabatino completed just three laps as he went off the circuit at the Turn 1 complex, but was still able to secure 12th.

Pos  Driver                Team     Time       Gap
 1.  Fabrizio Crestani     Lazarus  1m17.084s
 2.  Sergei Afanasiev      DAMS     1m17.193s  + 0.109s
 3.  Kevin Ceccon          Ombra    1m17.201s  + 0.117s
 4.  Fabio Onidi           Lazarus  1m17.387s  + 0.303s
 5.  Giovanni Venturini    Durango  1m17.432s  + 0.348s
 6.  Samuele Buttarelli    TP       1m17.452s  + 0.368s
 7.  Adrien Tambay         Campos   1m17.456s  + 0.372s
 8.  Kevin Korjus          DAMS     1m17.891s  + 0.807s
 9.  Bruno Mendez          Campos   1m17.946s  + 0.862s
10.  Adrian Campos Jr      Campos   1m18.492s  + 1.408s
11.  Daniel de Jong        MP       1m18.554s  + 1.470s
12.  Pasquale di Sabatino  TP       1m18.984s  + 1.900s
13.  Giuseppe Cipriani     Durango  1m20.218s  + 3.134s
14.  Francesco Dracone     Emmebi   1m20.447s  + 3.363s
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