Imola Auto GP: Markus Pommer beats Kimiya Sato to pole
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
Imola Auto GP: Kimiya Sato and Markus Pommer share practice honours
Imola Auto GP: Kimiya Sato dominates race one