Qualifying: Montagny on target

A win this weekend will be enough for Franck Montagny to win the Dallara Nissan World Series championship and the Frenchman is perfectly placed to get the result he needs after qualifying on pole position for race one at Barcelona

Qualifying: Montagny on target

The Gabord Competicion driver was made to work hard for the top slot and had to use two sets of new tyres as he came under intense pressure from Tata Team Carlin's Narain Karthikeyan. The tactic worked and Montagny picked up two bonus points for taking pole by just 0.048s.

Montagny said: "We needed to start from pole to stand the best chance of winning. Also it was starting to rain..."

Alas for the would-be champion, it did not continue to rain, and with no new tyres available for the second session he was at a massive disadvantage. In spite of his best efforts, he could do no better than eighth. Karthikeyan was again second, much to his disappointment.

He said: "I had some understeer in the second qualifying and I made a mistake on my best lap. I really want to leave Barcelona with a win."

After taking third on the grid for race one, Epsilon Eusakdi's Ander Vilarino took full advantage of Montagny's lack of tyres and Karthikeyan's mistake to grab his first pole position of the season. Following his podium finish last time out in Austria, the Spaniard is hitting form in the final third of the season.

He said: "If somebody believed that Austria was just an inspirational day, they were wrong. We have a new engineer and we are making good progress. I'm very happy to be in the fight for the podium in both races."

Another driver who has made great progress with a new engineer is former Arrows Formula 1 driver, Enrique Bernoldi. The Brazilian was fifth quickest in the first session, but despite spinning off in the second, he took third on the grid.

"It's good for me and the team," he said. "We were at the back of the pack in Monza and now we are in the fight at the front."

Less than one second covered the top 10 in the second session and with the threat of rain still hanging in the air, it is impossible to predict the outcome of either of tomorrow's race, but it is safe to say Montagny will be going all out for the win that guarantees him the title.

. Franck Montagny Gabord Competicion 1m32.340s
Narain Karthikeyan Tata Team Carlin +0.028s
Ander Vilarino Epsilon Euskadi +0.459s
Bruce Jouanny Carlin Motorspor +0.603s
Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing +0.757s
Bas Leinders Racing Engineering +0.769s
Heikki Kovalainen Gabord Competicion 0.917s
Bruno Besson Saulnier Racing +0.969s
Jean Christophe Ravier Epsilon Euskadi +1.085s
Felix Porteiro KTR +1.112s
Stephane Sarrazin Racing Engineering +1.134s
Angel Burgueno Respol Racing for Spain Vergani +1.212s
Polo Villaamil RC Motorsport +1.325s
Didier Andre Saulnier Racing +1.439s
Paul Edwards KTR +1.665s
Jose Marie Perez Aicart Adrian Campos Motorsport +2.194s
Santiago Porteiro Adrian Campos Motors +2.360s


Ander Vilarino Epsilon Euskadi 1m33.123s
Narain Karthikeyan Tata Team Carlin +0.184s
Enrique Bernoldi GD Racing +0.227s
Bas Leinders Racing Engineering +0.270s
Bruce Jouanny Carlin Motorsport +0.278s
Jean Christophe Ravier Epsilon Euskadi +0.332s
Stephane Sarrazin Racing Engineering +0.376s
Franck Montagny Gabord Competicion +0.528s
Bruno Besson Saulnier Racing +0.788s
Felix Porteiro KTR +0.823s
Didier Andre Saulnier Racing +1.043s
Polo Villaamil RC Motorsport +1.097s
Paul Edwards KTR +1.221s
Angel Burgueno Respol Racing for Spain Vergani +1.549s
Heikki Kovalainen Gabord Competicion +1.859s
Jose Marie Perez Aicart Adrian Campos Motorsport +2.041s
Santiago Porteiro Adrian Campos Motorsport +3.753s

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