Super Nova Racing were left disappointed after the GP2 Asia qualifying session at Imola.
Having showed promise in the two morning practice sessions, the team went into qualifying confident of securing good positions on the grid for Saturday's feature race.
However, drivers Fairuz Fauzy and Johnny Cecotto ended up 21st and 22nd respectively in the qualifying session. The result leaves the pair down towards the back of the grid for the feature race.
Both drivers were setting good sector times early in the session on their first set of tyres, with Cecotto in eighth position as a red flag forced the field to return to the pits. On their second set of tyres both drivers were affected by traffic as they attempted to improve their qualifying times.
“I am very disappointed,” said Fauzy, “because we were very strong in the practice session this morning and I knew that I could find more time in the car. We made some small changes for qualifying which we thought would make the tyre work better. I had traffic on every lap on the first set of tyres but the balance felt pretty good, then on the second set when I was pushing hard I struggled with understeer and the time was just not there. We need to focus on the race now and make the tyres last to give me the best opportunity to make up as many places as possible.”
Cecotto said: “A very difficult qualifying – I still don't know exactly why, because on the first set of tyres we were actually quite competitive and with the second set I don't know what happened. It will be very difficult to race from the back but I will certainly try to regain as many positions as possible.”
Team principal David Sears echoed the drivers' sentiments. “Following the practice session this morning I really did expect both of our drivers to at least be in the top 10, so it is extremely disappointing to be starting in 21st and 22nd. On the first set of tyres Johnny was in P8 even with traffic and was confident that the time was there to bridge the gap to the fastest time but we went backwards on the second set. Fairuz struggled to get a clean lap in qualifying and when he did, the tyres were past their best.”