Home Pole for Vandoorne at Spa-Francorchamps


Stoffel Vandoorne took his maiden GP2 Series pole position and the four points that goes along with it in qualifying at his home circuit of Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

The ART Grand Prix driver snatched top spot away from Championship leader Jolyon Palmer in the dying moments of a session that saw nine different teams represented in the top nine places on the grid.

Vandoorne and DAMS driver Palmer were the only two drivers to set times underneath the 1:57s barrier, with the Belgian’s 1:56.839s beating the Briton’s time by just 0.018s.

Mitch Evans took third place on the grid for Russian Time, and will be joined on the second row by the Racing Engineering machine of Ferrari Driver Academy driver Raffaele Marciello.

The two South American pacesetters from the earlier practice session, Venezuelan Johnny Cecotto Jr of Trident Racing and Colombian Julian Leal of Carlin will start side-by-side on the third row.

Frenchman Nathanael Berthon, who has seemed to have found some speed from the Venezuela GP Lazarus machine in recent races, will start seventh alongside Simon Trummer of Rapax, who had one of his best qualifying sessions of the season so far. Marco Sorensen of MP Motorsport and Stephane Richelmi of DAMS complete the top ten.

It was a disappointing day for Palmer’s main championship rival Felipe Nasr, who not only qualified only eleventh but also baulked a lap by his team-mate Leal that could have seen the Colombian driver even further up the grid than his sixth position.

Russian Time driver Artem Markelov had his times deleted after the session after being found guilty of blocking Stefano Coletti of Racing Engineering that saw the Monegasque driver take a trip across the grass as he took evasive action while trying to pass the Russian.

Spa-Francorchamps Race 1 Qualifying Times

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Stoffel Vandoorne BEL ART Grand Prix 1:56.839
2 Jolyon Palmer GBR DAMS 1:56.857
3 Mitch Evans NZL RT Russian Time 1:57.057
4 Raffaele Marciello ITA Racing Engineering 1:57.237
5 Johnny Cecotto Jr VEN Trident Racing 1:57.244
6 Julian Leal COL Carlin 1:57.271
7 Nathanael Berthon FRA Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:57.272
8 Simon Trummer SWI Rapax 1:57.284
9 Marco Sorensen DEN MP Motorsport 1:57.389
10 Stephane Richelmi MON DAMS 1:57.448
11 Felipe Nasr BRZ Carlin 1:57.475
12 Arthur Pic FRA Campos Racing 1:57.516
13 Daniel de Jong NED MP Motorsport 1:57.706
14 Tom Dillmann FRA EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:57.770
15 Conor Daly USA Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:57.788
16 Stefano Coletti MON Racing Engineering 1:57.844
17 Rene Binder AUT Arden International 1:57.851
18 Daniel Abt GER Hilmer Motorsport 1:57.875
19 Rio Haryanto INO EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:57.974
20 Adrian Quaife-Hobbs GBR Rapax 1:58.005
21 Kimiya Sato JAP Campos Racing 1:58.185
22 Jon Lancaster GBR Hilmer Motorsport 1:58.218
23 Sergio Canamasas ESP Trident Racing 1:58.295
24* Andre Negrao BRZ Arden International 1:58.002
25 Takuya Izawa JAP ART Grand Prix 2:40.364
26** Artem Markelov RUS RT Russian Time 1:58.470

*5 Place Grid Penalty*

**Times Deleted – Will start from Pit Lane**