Piquet Jr takes Valencia pole

Nelson Piquet Jr kicked off the GP2 season in commanding style by taking pole position for the opening round in Valencia

Piquet Jr takes Valencia pole

Piquet Jr recorded a late effort of 1:17.886 to snatch the top spot from iSport rookie Tristan Gommendy by four tenths of a second.

ART Grand Prix's Lewis Hamilton had held the pole for most of the season, but the F3 Euroseries champion was bumped to third in the dying minutes, and when Ferdinando Monfardini spun his DAMS car with only two minutes left on the clock, Hamilton's hopes of fighting back were quashed.

Fourth went to another series rookie, Adrian Valles, giving Campos Racing their best-ever qualifying position.

Two series veterans were up next, with Ernesto Viso making it a good day for iSport in fifth and Jose Maria Lopez taking sixth on his Super Nova debut.

The short and twisty Valencia circuit was always going to put a premium on finding a clear lap in traffic, and a rash of yellow flags complicated things further.

Of the big names to fall foul of this were Alex Premat in ninth, Lucas di Grassi in 20th and Nicoals Lapierre, who complained of being baulked by Lopez three times and was an unhappy 21st.

Adam Carroll man-handled his recalcitrant Racing Engineering car to 13th, while Trident Racing had a low-key debut with Gimmi Bruni 10th and Andreas Zuber 14th.

 Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Piquet Piquet Sports 1:17.886 15 2. Gommendy iSport International 1:18.360 + 0.474 17 3. Hamilton ART Grand Prix 1:18.400 + 0.514 14 4. Valles Campos Racing 1:18.551 + 0.665 15 5. Viso iSport International 1:18.623 + 0.737 16 6. Lopez Super Nova International 1:18.659 + 0.773 14 7. Ammermuller Arden International 1:18.681 + 0.795 15 8. Porteiro Campos Racing 1:18.717 + 0.831 16 9. Premat ART Grand Prix 1:18.752 + 0.866 15 10. Bruni Trident Racing 1:18.772 + 0.886 16 11. Negrao Piquet Sports 1:18.886 + 1.000 16 12. Perera Dams 1:18.890 + 1.004 14 13. Carroll Racing Engineering 1:18.893 + 1.007 15 14. Zuber Trident Racing 1:18.918 + 1.032 16 15. Pla DPR Direxiv 1:19.106 + 1.220 14 16. Piccione DPR Direxiv 1:19.199 + 1.313 15 17. Monfardini Dams 1:19.217 + 1.331 12 18. Yoshimoto BCN Competicion 1:19.251 + 1.365 11 19. Filippi FMS International 1:19.294 + 1.408 8 20. di Grassi Durango 1:19.349 + 1.463 16 21. Lapierre Arden International 1:19.602 + 1.716 15 22. Fauzy Super Nova International 1:19.725 + 1.839 14 23. Glock BCN Competicion 1:20.092 + 2.206 16 24. Hernandez Durango 1:20.142 + 2.256 15 25. Villa Racing Engineering 1:20.339 + 2.453 16 26. Tahinci FMS International 1:20.994 + 3.108 6 
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Hamilton still on top at Valencia

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