Van der Garde tops first practice

Giedo van der Garde has opened this weekend's GP2 round at Monza by topping this morning's free practice session

Van der Garde tops first practice

The Barwa driver set his best time of 1m30.654s midway through the session and managed to retain his place at the top of the timing sheets until the chequered flag, finishing 0.175s clear of Addax's Sergio Perez. Luca Filippi was third-quickest for Super Nova ahead of ART's Sam Bird.

Runaway series leader Pastor Maldonado's hopes of securing the championship in Italy got off to a ragged start when he was stripped of his best time for cutting the Turn 1 chicane. That left him languishing in 21st until the final moments of the session, when he managed to haul himself up to seventh.

Two drivers are making their series debut this weekend and both got things off to low-key starts, with Trident's Edoardo Piscopo finishing up 22nd - the Italian managing to finish the session despite ripping his rear wing off in a clash with DPR's Michael Herck - and Coloni's Brendon Hartley 23rd.

Arden's Charles Pic was the morning's only casualty, the French driver crashing at the Parabolica on his second lap.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax 1m30.654s 2. Sergio Perez Barwa Addax 1m30.829s + 0.175s 3. Luca Filippi Super Nova 1m31.027s + 0.373s 4. Sam Bird ART 1m31.096s + 0.442s 5. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m31.156s + 0.502s 6. Romain Grosjean DAMS 1m31.244s + 0.590s 7. Pastor Maldonado Rapax 1m31.249s + 0.595s 8. Alvaro Parente Coloni 1m31.252s + 0.598s 9. Oliver Turvey iSport 1m31.255s + 0.601s 10. Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS 1m31.272s + 0.618s 11. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1m31.359s + 0.705s 12. Jules Bianchi ART 1m31.394s + 0.740s 13. Michael Herck DPR 1m31.466s + 0.812s 14. Davide Valsecchi iSport 1m31.478s + 0.824s 15. Luiz Razia Rapax 1m31.658s + 1.004s 16. Fabrizio Crestani DPR 1m31.667s + 1.013s 17. Marcus Ericsson Super Nova 1m31.727s + 1.073s 18. Fabio Leimer Ocean 1m31.796s + 1.142s 19. Max Chilton Ocean 1m31.864s + 1.210s 20. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden 1m31.911s + 1.257s 21. Adrian Zaugg Trident 1m31.937s + 1.283s 22. Edoardo Piscopo Trident 1m32.940s + 2.286s 23. Brendon Hartley Coloni 1m33.369s + 2.715s 24. Charles Pic Arden 1m41.642s + 10.988s 
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