Scott Speed is Number One

Scott Speed has trumped the pack over two qualifying sessions at Paul Ricard to give iSport the top racing numbers for the GP2 series

Scott Speed is Number One

All twelve teams were present for the GP2 series launch at the French track and, after the speeches were made, one representative of each team was given a 'free for all' style qualifying run over a thirty minute period, with two sets of tyres assigned to each driver in each session, before handing over to their teammate for the second session.

Speed stopped the clock with a time of 1:19.414, two tenths ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr, to claim the top spot. Ernesto Viso was third despite a spin which called his session to a close, one spot ahead of yet to be confirmed Giorgio Pantano.

Paul Jackson, Team Principal of iSport, was delighted with the result: "After all the long hours and hard work of the past few weeks it is very satisfying for the team to be quickest in the first competitive session. Scott has impressed me from the first run in the car, and I am sure he has a big future."

Nelson Piquet Jr. was relatively pleased with his session, stating: "I was expecting to have a single number on the car, and I was wishing for number one, but second quickest in qualifying to give me number 3 is good I think! I am even more relaxed now I see we are one of the fastest. I know I have a good chance to be fast in the championship."

The biggest surprise was the lowly position of Arden International, who were the reigning Formula 3000 champions and expected to show the way in the new series. Unfortunately for the team Nicolas Lapierre spun to a halt in the first session, leaving the load on Heikki Kovalainen's shoulders, with the Finn unable to do better than 11th.

The teams will now be given consecutive numbers, as with most race series, and they will be on display when the teams meet again next week in Barcelona for their final pre-season test, ahead of the season opener in Imola on April 24.

GP2 Race Number Allocation Qualifying Sessions, Circuit Paul Ricard, April 6

Final Combined Positions (Provisional):

Pos Team                      Time      Driver    Session 
 1. iSport International      1:19.414  Speed      2
 2. Hitech Piquet Sports      1:19.612  Piquet     2
 3. BCN Competicion           1:19.726  Viso       2
 4. Super Nova International  1:19.947  Pantano    2
 5. ART Grand Prix            1:19.979  Rosberg    1
 6. DPR                       1:20.042  Pla        2
 7. Dams                      1:20.097  Lopez      2
 8. Coloni Motorsport         1:20.138  Bruni      2
 9. Racing Engineering        1:20.200  García     1
10. Campos Racing             1:20.203  Alvarez    1
11. Arden International       1:20.271  Kovalainen 2
12. Durango                   1:20.640  Piccione   2

All times are unofficial
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