GP2 Chandhok fastest...

Senna on pole

Front row shut out by iSport pair Karun Chandhok showed his race winning pace from last year's second race in Spa to take the top spot on his last lap in qualifying yesterday afternoon, but a 10 place penalty from Valencia hands the pole position to iSport teammate Bruno Senna, who had led the field during the wet session until the Indian's amazing final lap.

 Chandhok best time of 2:15.459 was just 0.061 ahead of Senna, with Alvaro Parente the best of the rest, albeit six tenths off the iSport pair. On that last lap Senna and Giorgio Pantano looked to be in locked in battle for pole, with Chandhok the only man on their pace: the sector times on the screens  read  Pantano  37.1  Senna  36.9  Chandhok  36.8,  sector  two  Pantano  64.4  Senna  65.6 Chandhok 63.3, with the title rivals returning to the pits behind Parente rather than finishing the lap.

But Chandhok got the call to stay out and took the top spot with a third sector of 35.2 to the delight of his team. With heavy rain starting five minutes before the session it was clear that a dramatic session was around the corner, and so it proved: Senna set the pace immediately with Pastor Maldonado also pushing hard, while Lucas di Grassi slipped over the edge and into the wall on his second flying lap.

Maldonado soon joined him in retirement after sneaking into the top spot when he slipped off a kerb and flew backwards into the wall at turn seven, bringing out the red flags. Pantano and Senna were soon fighting once more for pole, with Parente also joining in to make it a three way battle.

In the second half of the session a number of drivers ran wide or spun making it was clear that, although the rain had stopped, the conditions were still far from ideal, but with Senna  on  top  as  the  clock  stopped  it  looked  like  the  action  was  finished  for  the  afternoon.

But Chandhok had other ideas, staying out when the others thought it was all over. Behind  the  top  three  Romain  Grosjean  popped  into  fourth  on  his  last  tour  as  well,  just  pipping Pantano  who  lines  up  fifth  ahead  of  Andreas  Zuber,  Sébastien  Buemi,  Mike  Conway,  Andy Soucek  and  Pastor  Maldonado. 

Chandhok's  penalty  for  his  collision  with  Vitaly  Petrov  2  weeks ago  may  have  kept  him  off  pole  for  today's  race  and  handed  the  bonus  points  to  his team mate, but he has proven a point in front the entire paddock at the circuit most of the drivers call their favourite.

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