Quaife-Hobbs claims second consecutive Auto GP pole position at Valencia
|By Peter Mills||Friday, March 30th 2012, 17:16 GMT|
Super Nova's Adrian Quaife-Hobbs claimed his second consecutive Auto GP pole position at Valencia on Friday.
The British racer was in control at the top of the timing screens for over two thirds of the half hour session, gradually improving an early effort of 1m23.911s to record an eventual pole time of 1m23.480s.
Russian Sergey Sirotkin was the only other driver to break the 1m24s barrier on Kumho's new soft compound tyres, which have been introduced at this meeting.
The Euronova Racing driver will line-up alongside Quaife-Hobbs on the front row for tomorrow afternoon's race.
As several drivers have only had their first experience on the soft tyres today, Quaife-Hobbs believes the races will mark a step into the unknown regarding tyre wear.
"I have only just done a five-lap run on the softs," continued Quaife-Hobbs. "The team was debating whether I should go out for a set-up change, but I said 'No, I'll sit in the pits and we'll make the change for qualifying'. It worked.
"In the pits I just asked for a change of front wing, and then I was able to go a tenth quicker on my second run. I think it will make an interesting race tomorrow. We have got a new set of mediums, and then race two could be a bit of a scramble.
"I am not sure if we have enough tyres to do two races on decent rubber. Let's see."
Quaife-Hobbs's Super Nova team-mate Victor Guerin ended the afternoon third fastest. The Brazilian edged out Campos Racing's second practice pacesetter Facu Regalia by just 0.034s.
Joint championship leader Pal Varhaug took fifth for Virtuosi UK. The team's second driver, series debutant Sten Pentus, struggled in 15th, having had an off-track moment in the preceding second practice session.
The top-six was completed by Campos Racing's Russian Max Snegirev.
The session proved relatively incident free, but MP Motorsport reported a brake issue on Chris van der Drift's eighth-placed entry. Team-mate Daniel de Jong suffered a driveshaft problem.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Super Nova 1m23.480s 2. Sergey Sirotkin Euronova 1m23.681s + 0.201s 3. Victor Guerin Super Nova 1m24.057s + 0.577s 4. Facu Regalia Campos 1m24.091s + 0.611s 5. Pal Varhaug Virtuosi UK 1m24.107s + 0.627s 6. Maxim Snegirev Campos 1m24.228s + 0.748s 7. Sergio Campana MLR 71 1m24.362s + 0.882s 8. Chris van der Drift Manor MP 1m24.579s + 1.099s 9. Antonio Spavone Euronova 1m24.674s + 1.194s 10. Daniel de Jong Manor MP 1m24.795s + 1.315s 11. Yann Cunha Ombra 1m25.021s + 1.541s 12. Giuseppe Cipriani Campos 1m25.022s + 1.542s 13. Giancarlo Serenelli Ombra 1m25.115s + 1.635s 14. Matteo Beretta Zele 1m25.247s + 1.767s 15. Sten Pentus Virtuosi UK 1m25.675s + 2.195s 16. Michele la Rosa MLR 71 1m27.903s + 4.423s 17. Peter Milavec Zele 1m29.725s + 6.245s