GP2

Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson dashes to maiden pole
 
Swedish driver leads 1-2 for DAMS in qualifying session in Barcelona
 
Marcus Ericsson was unbeatable in today’s qualifying session at Circuit de Catalunya: the Swedish ace put his DAMS car at the top of the standings early in the session. His laptime was bettered in the dying minutes by teammate Stéphane Richelmi, but for mere seconds only: Ericsson found extra pace to improve and crossed the finish line in a blazing 1:28.706.
 
Although ominous dark clouds loomed above the Spanish circuit as the pitlane opened, the track remained dry for the whole session. Series leader Stefano Coletti was quick to claim P1 in 1:29.426, but James Calado went one tenth faster, dropping the Monegasque driver to P2. Ericsson was on a mission and clocked in a laptime of 1:29.095 enough to make him sit pretty at the top. Sam Bird was the first rival to try and snatch pole from the Swede, but he ended up one tenth behind Ericsson. Felipe Nasr was next: the Brazilian’s efforts got him second, a shy 0.05s from P1.
 
The drivers made their way back to the pits for a fresh set of soft tyres, with Ericsson staying put and observing his competition until the final minutes. The clock kept ticking down and no one could match the Swede’s laptime. Nasr went for another flier, but it was not good enough. Bird made another attempt as well and lit the first sector in purple. He improved on his second sector, but a slow third sector crushed the Brit’s hopes for pole. In the dying minutes, Richelmi was not done with his day: the Monegasque driver found a perfect lap and broke under the 1m29s barrier, setting a laptime of 1:28.871. But his joy was short-lived: just moments after he crossed the finish line, Ericsson improved on his teammate’s time by one tenth thus pocketing his first GP2 pole position.
 
Behind the DAMS pair, Nasr retained third ahead of Bird with Coletti and Fabio Leimer in tow. Calado finished seventh ahead of rookie Robin Frijns, Kevin Ceccon and Kevin Giovesi. The décor is set for tomorrow’s feature race.
 
Barcelona – Qualifying Session
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Marcus Ericsson
DAMS
1:28.706
10
2.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:28.871
10
3.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:29.152
11
4.
Sam Bird
RUSSIAN TIME
1:29.188
9
5.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
1:29.213
10
6.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
1:29.293
11
7.
James Calado
ART Grand Prix
1:29.318
5
8.
Robin Frijns
Hilmer Motorsport
1:29.321
11
9.
Kevin Ceccon
Trident Racing
1:29.424
10
10.
Kevin Giovesi
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:29.425
10
11.
Jolyon Palmer
Carlin
1:29.609
11
12.
Daniel Abt
ART Grand Prix
1:29.668
10
13.
Sergio Canamasas
Caterham Racing
1:29.685
10
14.
Tom Dillmann
RUSSIAN TIME
1:29.739
10
15.
Jon Lancaster
Hilmer Motorsport
1:29.759
11
16.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
1:29.792
10
17.
Alexander Rossi
Caterham Racing
1:29.804
10
18.
Julian Leal
Racing Engineering
1:29.824
12
19
Mitch Evans
Arden International
1:29.936
11
20.
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:29.956
11
21.
Nathanaël Berthon
Trident Racing
1:29.969
10
22.
Rio Haryanto
Barwa Addax Team
1:30.020
10
23.
Johnny Cecotto
Arden International
1:30.025
11
24.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:30.025
14
25.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
MP Motorsport
1:30.763
10
26.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:30.773
12