Press release from DAMS
After the Bahrain event was cancelled for political reasons, Romain Grosjean and DAMS continued the good work begun in the first round and bagged another pole position on the trot in Italy.
It almost seems like the team needs incidents and additional challenges to give its best! A few days before the opening race in Abu Dhabi, Romain Grosjean’s car was damaged by an impact in preliminary practice and he then went on to set pole. It was the same story at Imola for the second and last round of the 2011 Asian GP2 Championship, but on an even shorter time scale.
A crash in the first free session this morning meant that the French driver missed out on the following one. In the dying seconds of qualifying Grosjean rewarded the efforts of the mechanics and engineers by setting pole. And he did it in style with three-tenths of a second in hand over his closest rival!
Norwegian rookie, Pal Varhaug, made encouraging progress in the morning’s free practice, especially in the second session when he set a very promising ninth-quickest time, only five-tenths slower than the fastest driver. In qualifying, he had a good first run that augured well for the rest of the session, but he was unable to confirm with his second set of new rubber. Nonetheless, he finished under a second off the second-quickest driver.
Loïc David, General Manager: “Yet again I’d like to congratulate the whole team for the incredible job they did after this morning’s first session to rebuild the car. And bravo too to Romain for his second pole on a circuit he didn’t know. We were able to find the right setup in record time and qualifying went off like a dream.”
Romain Grosjean: 1m 27.067s – P1
“Two poles out of two is simply fantastic! I’d really like to congratulate the whole team as they repaired the car perfectly and at lightning speed. I had never raced at Imola so I had to learn the circuit and adapt to the setup we found in my only practice session. The fact that I’ve scored two points for pole is good in the perspective of the championship, but my mission is to win tomorrow.”
Pal Varhaug: 1m 28.357s – P19
“I have the impression that I could have done better in qualifying. My first set of tyres worked well and I felt good, but I didn’t get the best out of the second lot. But what’s positive is this morning’s second free session. I found the right rhythm and I know now that I can aim for the top ten.”
First race tomorrow Saturday 19th March at 14h00 – Second race Sunday 20th March at 14h00.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Romain Grosjean DAMS 1m27.067s
2. Sam Bird iSport 1m27.384s + 0.317s
3. Michael Herck Coloni 1m27.558s + 0.491s
4. Jules Bianchi ART 1m27.676s + 0.609s
5. Giedo van der Garde Addax 1m27.735s + 0.668s
6. Josef Kral Arden 1m27.834s + 0.767s
7. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m27.872s + 0.805s
8. Jolyon Palmer Arden 1m27.898s + 0.831s
9. Davide Valsecchi AirAsia 1m27.909s + 0.842s
10. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1m27.988s + 0.921s
11. Luiz Razia AirAsia 1m28.073s + 1.006s
12. Andrea Caldarelli Ocean 1m28.093s + 1.026s
13. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1m28.143s + 1.076s
14. Oliver Turvey Ocean 1m28.151s + 1.084s
15. Esteban Gutierrez ART 1m28.160s + 1.093s
16. Stefano Coletti Trident 1m28.194s + 1.127s
17. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident 1m28.310s + 1.243s
18. Max Chilton Carlin 1m28.332s + 1.265s
19. Pal Varhaug DAMS 1m28.357s + 1.290s
20. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m28.373s + 1.306s
21. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova 1m28.382s + 1.315s
22. Johnny Cecotto Super Nova 1m28.490s + 1.423s
23. Charles Pic Addax 1m28.549s + 1.482s
24. Julian Leal Rapax 1m28.644s + 1.577s
25. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1m28.646s + 1.579s
26. Luca Filippi Coloni