Luca Filippi was delighted to have qualified on the front row of the grid for the GP2 feature race at the Nurburgring, following his pre-race switch to Scuderia Coloni.
The Italian held pole position for much of the qualifying session, before losing top spot to Charles Pic with five minutes to go. He improved his time before the end, but would have to settle for second just 0.076s shy of the Frenchman.
“I'm happy with this performance, especially because it's the best way to say thanks to Paolo Coloni and team for putting their trust in me,” said Filippi. “Today we really did a good job, the car was quick from scratch and then all the little changes we did made it a bit quicker.
“It's also very easy to drive on the limit, and I can tell you that because I managed to do nearly the same lap three times, easily. Unfortunately I had to abort my quickest one due to some slower cars and that cost me the pole position, but for tomorrow I feel that we really have very good chances to fight for the win. Furthermore, we did less laps than the others on our second set of new tyres, so we will have some more grip tomorrow”.
Coloni said: “Today's result is the deserved prize for the amazing job that the team did right from the start of the season. The odds played against us in this 2011, with Rigon's injury being a big setback for the team, but despite this everybody kept giving their best. This result comes from the great job we did together, developing the car with Davide until Istanbul, and then with Ceccon in the following races.
“Handing the wheel to a proven talent like Luca was also a way of proving ourselves, and today showing everybody how quick we can be was a great feeling. Now we have to fulfil this potential tomorrow in the race, we can really fight for the win with Luca.
Filippi's teammate Michael Herck qualified in 13th place as he was hampered by traffic. He was later handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Sam Bird.
“I'm a bit sorry for Herck because without traffic he could have been quicker, but Race 1 is long and he will have the time to make the most of our race pace to recover,” added Coloni.