Spa GP2: Stoffel Vandoorne beats Jolyon Palmer to take maiden pole

McLaren Formula 1 protege Stoffel Vandoorne claimed pole for Saturday's GP2 feature race at Spa, deposing Jolyon Palmer from the top, despite the Briton leading for most of the session

Spa GP2: Stoffel Vandoorne beats Jolyon Palmer to take maiden pole

Palmer managed a 1m56.857s in the first 10 minutes to set the benchmark time, a feat that seemed unassailable throughout as no one was able to improve early on.

Takuya Izawa brought the yellow flags out mere minutes in for a spin into the gravel, helping Palmer maintain his lead.

After a quiet middle stint where only Daniel de Jong seemed to be making any headway, Palmer pitted with a handful of minutes remaining but holding a 0.4s cushion from Raffaele Marciello.

Local hero Vandoorne immediately took the initiative, and did just enough to take his first GP2 pole position and the four points to go with it, setting a time just 0.018s quicker than Palmer.

Palmer's consistency means that he will once again start on the front row, ahead of Mitch Evans and Marciello in third and fourth.

Johnny Cecotto Jr had looked quick all weekend, but will be disappointed with fifth, having challenged for the front row earlier in the day, and Julian Leal, who was fastest in practice, could not better sixth.

Nathanael Berthon, Simon Trummer, Marco Sorensen and Stephane Richelmi completed the front 10 runners.

It was a difficult day for championship contender Felipe Nasr however, as he could not do better than 11th.

 Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Stoffel Vandoorne ART 1m56.839s 10 2. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1m56.857s +0.018s 8 3. Mitch Evans Russian Time 1m57.057s +0.218s 11 4. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1m57.237s +0.398s 13 5. Johnny Cecotto Jr Trident 1m57.244s +0.405s 12 6. Julian Leal Carlin 1m57.271s +0.432s 13 7. Nathanael Berthon Lazarus 1m57.272s +0.433s 12 8. Simon Trummer Rapax 1m57.284s +0.445s 10 9. Marco Sorensen MP 1m57.389s +0.550s 11 10. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1m57.448s +0.609s 10 11. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m57.475s +0.636s 11 12. Arthur Pic Campos 1m57.516s +0.677s 10 13. Daniel de Jong MP 1m57.706s +0.867s 11 14. Tom Dillmann Caterham 1m57.770s +0.931s 11 15. Conor Daly Lazarus 1m57.788s +0.949s 12 16. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1m57.844s +1.005s 11 17. Rene Binder Arden 1m57.851s +1.012s 12 18. Daniel Abt Hilmer 1m57.875s +1.036s 13 19. Rio Haryanto Caterham 1m57.974s +1.135s 12 20. Andre Negrao Arden 1m58.002s +1.163s 12 21. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1m58.005s +1.166s 12 22. Kimiya Sato Campos 1m58.185s +1.346s 10 23. Jon Lancaster Hilmer 1m58.218s +1.379s 13 24. Sergio Canamasas Trident 1m58.295s +1.456s 12 25. Artem Markelov Russian Time 1m58.470s +1.631s 10 26. Takuya Izawa ART 2m40.364s +43.525s 2 


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