GP2 Roldan Rodriguez blitzes his way...

to pole

Rodriguez puts his Piquet GP on pole on his last lap While  everyone  was  waiting  for  Dams’  Kobayashi  to  sign  pole  position  at  the  Shanghai  track today,  it  was  Spaniard  Roldan  Rodriguez  who  ended  up  at  the  prestigious  spot  on  his  last  lap.

The Japanese ace was almost once again the fastest man on track: after only four laps, he set the  pace  in  a  1:45.492  and  even  went  quicker  at  the  chequered  flag,  but  Rodriguez  stole  his thunder in a 1:45.233. Another driver who could have gotten in the battle was Andreas Zuber, but the unfortunate FMS driver  had  to  stop  on  his  first  outlap  due  to  an  engine  problem.  Nine  minutes  into  qualifying, James Jakes lost control of his car and crashed.

The session was red flagged for eight minutes. At  that  moment,  Kobayashi  was  quickest  ahead  of  Petrov  and  teammate  d’Ambrosio,  all  three men under 1:46. With 21 minutes to go, the cars went back on track except for the two Dams.

Ten minutes before the end of the session, Kobayashi and d’Ambrosio finally got back into action only  to  get  back  into  the  pits  four  minutes  later  as  Al  Fardan  was  stopped  in  the  middle of the track: the Bahraini from GFH Team iSport lost the back of his car at turn 4 on cold tyre. When the session resumed again, Javier Villa and Giedo Van der Garde both improved enough to  get  in  the  Top  5. 

At  the  chequered  flag,  Kamui  Kobayashi  also  improved  his  laptime  in  a 1:45.418.  Seconds  later,  Roldan  Rodriguez  crossed  the  finish  line  flat  out  and  snatched  pole position. Javier Villa on Super Nova was third fastest.

Also improving at the very last minute was ART’s Yamamoto edging out Van der Garde for P4. Petrov, d’Ambrosio, Valsecchi, Bamber and Filippi complete the

Roldan Rodriguez (Piquet GP): “It couldn’t be better. It’s perfect! Pole position at the last minute is the best way to start the season. I started on old tyres and did only half a lap before the red flag. Then, on new tyres, I couldn’t do a proper lap. I was fifth when the second red flag happened and all I had left was one last lap to improve… I went for it and it worked! Tomorrow, I’ll have no one in front: I’ll just push and I won’t think about what’s going on behind.”

Kamui Kobayashi (Dams): “At the chequered flag, I thought I had pole for sure. When they told me that Rodriguez went quicker in just one lap, I thought “how?!” I was a little bit unlucky because when  I  put  the  new  tyres,  after  two  flying  laps  there  was  the  second  red  flag.  It’s  frustrating because we had been waiting in the pit after the first red flag for the best time to get back onto the track. We were waiting to see who was improving. Still, I think that P2 is a good result. I have the car to go for the win tomorrow. Tomorrow, I’ll go for nothing but the win.”

Javier Villa (Super Nova Racing): “The session went very well. After a difficult season, I wanted to  get  a  fresh  start.  We  have  been  very  competitive  since  we  arrived  in  China.  It  was  a complicated  qualifying  session,  but  we  managed  to  push  for  two  laps  and  get  the  best  result possible. For tomorrow, starting from the front will make things easier. I’m very happy!”

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