Pantano on GP2 pole in Monza

Championship leader on top at home Giorgio Pantano's title aspirations were given another boost yesterday afternoon when he claimed the final pole position of the season at Monza ahead of Lucas di Grassi and Sébastien Buemi, with the  Italian's  championship  rival  Bruno  Senna  finishing  in  a  lowly  12th  position  for  today's penultimate race.

The championship leader's fastest lap of 1:31.220 took the top spot by just 0.019 seconds, but the two points picked up for pole give Pantano a 13 point cushion over Senna with a maximum score of just 18 points remaining in the title race.

The Brazilian was only seven tenths off the pace today  but,  on  a  day  where  17  drivers  were  within  a  second  of  pole  and  all  25  were  within  two seconds, it was a bridge too far. Andreas  Zuber,  Pastor  Maldonado  and  Lucas  di  Grassi  initially  fought  over  the  top  spot  until Pantano  took  over  just  six  minutes  into  the  session,  constantly  improving  his  times  over  the period. Luca Filippi was the closest driver to his countryman's time for most of the session until di Grassi and Buemi just edged him out in the closing minutes of the session, pushing him back to fourth.

The iSport mechanics set to work on Senna's rear wing halfway through the session as he was clearly  struggling for traction, but despite a small improvement he was unable to break into the top  ten,  which  was  rounded  out  by  Vitaly  Petrov,  Pastor  Maldonado,  Andreas  Zuber,  Roldan Rodriguez,  Javier  Villa  and  Karun  Chandhok. 

While  Senna  will  be  pushing  hard  to  keep  the championship alive for the final race, he will also be wary of being overtaken by Lucas di Grassi, who starts from the front row and is just seven points behind his countryman.

Monza – Qualifications

Driver  - Team - Time - Laps

1. Giorgio Pantano Racing Engineering 1:31.220 12

2. Lucas di Grassi Barwa Int. Campos Team 1:31.239 14

3. Sébastien Buemi Trust Team Arden 1:31.330 14

4. Luca Filippi Trust Team Arden 1:31.440 14

5. Vitaly Petrov Barwa Int. Campos Team 1:31.527 14

6. Pastor Maldonado Piquet Sports 1:31.546 14

7. Andreas Zuber Piquet Sports 1:31.663 13

8. Roldan Rodriguez Fisichella Motor Sport Int. 1:31708 16

9. Javier Villa Racing Engineering 1:31.797 15

10. Karun Chandhok iSport International 1:31.810 11

11. Romain Grosjean ART Grand Prix 1:31.949 13

12. Bruno Senna iSport International 1:31.964 15 1

3. Davide Valsecchi Durango 1:32.090 16

14. Sakon Yamamoto ART Grand Prix 1:32.092 14

15. Andy Soucek Super Nova Racing 1:32.165 14

16. Mike Conway Trident Racing 1:32.229 14

17. Diego Nunes DPR 1:32.236 14

18. Kamui Kobayashi Dams 1:32.361 16

19. Jérôme d’Ambrosio Dams 1:32.503 16

20 Alberto Valerio Durango 1:32.550 15

21. Alvaro Parente Super Nova Racing 1:32.604 15

22. Marko Aasmer Fisichella Motor Sport Int. 1:32.808 16

23. Ho-Pin Tung Trident Racing 1:32.817 14

24. Michael Herck DPR 1:33.021 16

25 Carlos Iaconelli BCN Competicion 1:33.264 16 

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