Red Bull Ring GP2: McLaren ace Stoffel Vandoorne takes record pole

McLaren protege Stoffel Vandoorne became the first driver ever to reach seven GP2 pole positions after topping qualifying at the Red Bull Ring

Red Bull Ring GP2: McLaren ace Stoffel Vandoorne takes record pole

The ART Grand Prix driver looked to have his work cut out to beat Sergey Sirotkin to pole after the Rapax driver set the pace in both free practice and on the first runs in qualifying.

But Vandoorne saved his best for his second run as, after initially seeming set to be pushed very hard by Sirotkin, he put in a lap 0.260 seconds faster than the Russian to go fastest.

GP2'S TOP QUALIFIERS:

Stoffel Vandoorne: 7 poles from 15 events (2014-15)
Nelson Piquet Jr: 6 poles from 23 events (2005-06)
Giorgio Pantano: 6 poles from 40 events (2005-08)
Romain Grosjean: 5 poles from 29 events (2008-11)

Sirotkin appeared to have the potential pace to do better, but was unable to string together a strong enough lap to sustain his challenge for pole.

This meant that he slipped to fourth, with Nobuharu Matsushita completing a one-two for the ART team, just as he had done in qualifying for the Bahrain season-opener, and DAMS driver Pierre Gasly grabbing third.

It was a dramatic session in which the top 17 drivers were covered by just 0.856s.

Rio Haryanto, driving for Campos Racing, put a difficult Monaco weekend behind him with fifth on the grid, followed by Trident's Raffaele Marciello.

Nick Yelloly took seventh ahead of Jordan King, with Arthur Pic surviving a scrape with Nathanael Berthon to take ninth on the grid.

DAMS driver Alex Lynn looked set to be up front, but was shuffled down to 10th in the closing stages along with Mitch Evans, who ended up just behind him.

It was a tough session for podium regular Alexander Rossi, who took 12th for Racing Engineering ahead of Carlin's Julian Leal.

An illness sidelining Zoel Amberg for the weekend and the absence of the second MP Motorsport entry usually driven by Sergio Canamasas meant that only 24 drivers set a time.

QUALIFYING TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1 Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1m14.174s -
2 Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1m14.263s 0.089s
3 Pierre Gasly DAMS 1m14.300s 0.126s
4 Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1m14.434s 0.260s
5 Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1m14.481s 0.307s
6 Raffaele Marciello Trident 1m14.483s 0.309s
7 Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 1m14.538s 0.364s
8 Jordan King Racing Engineering 1m14.574s 0.400s
9 Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1m14.650s 0.476s
10 Alex Lynn DAMS 1m14.818s 0.644s
11 Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1m14.861s 0.687s
12 Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1m14.881s 0.707s
13 Julian Leal Carlin 1m14.893s 0.719s
14 Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1m14.922s 0.748s
15 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1m14.978s 0.804s
16 Norman Nato Arden International 1m14.996s 0.822s
17 Rene Binder Trident 1m15.030s 0.856s
18 Daniel de Jong MP Motorsport 1m15.207s 1.033s
19 Robert Visoiu Rapax 1m15.396s 1.222s
20 Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1m15.434s 1.260s
21 Andre Negrao Arden International 1m15.537s 1.363s
22 Nathanael Berthon Daiko Team Lazarus 1m15.750s 1.576s
23 Marco Sorensen Carlin 1m15.853s 1.679s
24 Simon Trummer Hilmer Motorsport 1m16.159s 1.985s


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GP2 Austria: Sergey Sirotkin tops Red Bull Ring practice
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