Giorgio will start from the third row while Javi will have to drive through the field.
Luck, always such a part of racing at Monaco, both on and off the track, again played a decisive role in the qualifying session that decides the starting grid for the first race of the weekend at the Monegasque track.
Getting a clean lap without the traffic that could impede the driver from giving his best not to mention the many yellow and red flags which are so usual because of the incidents that always occur on the Monaco track is almost as difficult as guessing the winning number at the roulette wheel of its famous casino. Despite the fact that both Racing Engineering drivers were looking for the final prize they couldn't get the reward they were seeking with both men having to settle for places further back than they would have liked for tomorrow’s race.
At least Giorgio Pantano finally finished near to the pole he was aiming for after running really quickly throughout day and scoring the fifth fastest time in the decisive session. This despite, when he was looking for a better time with his second set of fresh tyres, getting involved in the frantic traffic jam at the end of the session that prevented him from finding the clean lap needed to be involved in the fight for first position on the grid.
Javier Villa had worse luck, as his best lap was totally ruined by a red flag triggered by one of his competitors having one of the several contacts with the barriers that occurred during qualifying. This left the Spaniard with no other option than to abort his attempt to be in the front rows of the starting grid, finishing in 18th position which means he will have to move up a lot tomorrow to, at least, get close to the point scoring positions.
Nevertheless the most positive outcome of the day for Racing Engineering was that, once more, both the Repsol and Telefónica backed Dallaras worked perfectly being always competitive and without any problems. Thus the two drivers of the Spanish team will have, for tomorrow’s first race of the weekend, the perfect conditions to fight for a good result as well as a better starting position for Saturday’s sprint race.
Alfonso de Orleans Borbón (team principal): "Giorgio did quite well considering the extreme amount of traffic he encountered. We know he could have done much better, but considering the circumstances we are happy. Javi obviously found himself in a worse situation as right when he was on his fast lap the red flag being shown didn't help.The cars were once more in very good condition and the entire crew did a great job. So we should be ready for tomorrow's race."
Javier Villa (driver car 11): "It was really difficult in both free practice and qualification, with 26 cars on the track we impede each other all the time. I did just a lap at the beginning of the session and I was sixth, but later we couldn't do anymore. I feel very comfortable with the car and that gives me positive feelings for tomorrow. It will be a tough race starting at the back so we'll have to wait and see as it's a long race."
Giorgio Pantano (driver car 12): “We know it is difficult to find a clear lap here. On second set of tyres I didn't have a clear lap at all, so there wasn't much I could do.Tomorrow we will try to do our best and do a good race."