The Dallara Nissan World Series is set for a thrilling climax at Jarama after qualifying set up a great showdown for second position in the championship
Former Arrows Formula 1 driver Enrique Bernoldi repeated his achievement from the first race of the season by taking pole position for race one to give himself a fighting chance of ending the year behind only Franck Montagny in the championship.
The GD Racing driver, who will start from second on the grid in race two, said: "We could tell from last week's test that we have a good set-up, but I still had to push very hard. We have a good car and I believe we can have a good race."
Pole for race two went to Gabord Competicion's Heikki Kovalainen, who was one of the few drivers to up his pace for the second session. With fourth position for race one, the Finn has a good chance of claiming the runner-up spot behind his team-mate Montagny, but he says taking his second win of the year is more important to him.
"Being second or third is not that important to be," he said. "I have to go out there for the win. I wasn't attacking that much on the lap, so maybe it's better to be relaxed around here."
Despite missing Friday's practice session, Montagny will start on the front row for the opening race. However, a small change to the car set-up for the second session proved to be a mistake and he will start in an unfamiliar ninth place.
"I want to end the season with the sensation of a win, but I'm not so confident as usual," he said. "I hope it rains tomorrow."
Felix Porteiro continued KTR's strong practice form by taking third on the grid for both races. His team-mate Paul Edwards was unable to repeat his best time from practice and will start seventh and 11th.
The other drivers fighting for second overall had a mixed day. Racing Engineering's Stephane Sarrazin starts eighth and sixth, Jean Christophe Ravier lines up ninth and fourth for Epsilon Euskadi, Narain Karthikeyan is still recovering from his recent tropical illness and had to settle for 10th and 17th in his Tata Team Carlin machine, while Bas Leinders has his work cut out from 13th and eighth. Bruno Besson entered the last round with a slim chance of ending the season second in the standings, but after qualifying 16th and 15th, he needs a massive change of fortune on Sunday.
Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing 1m22.648s Franck Montagny Gabord Competicion 1m22.673s Felix Porteiro KTR 1m22.858s Heikki Kovalainen Gabord Competicion 1m23.004s Bruce Jouanny Carlin Motorsport 1m23.042s Polo Villaamil RC Motorsport 1m23.259s
Heikki Kovalainen Gabord Competicion 1m22.763s Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing 1m23.014s Felix Porteiro KTR 1m23.222s Jean Christophe Ravier Epsilon Euskadi 1m23.354s Bruce Jouanny Carlin Motorsport 1m23.371s Stephane Sarrazin Racing Engineering 1m23.377s
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