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Carroll Takes Debut Auto GP Pole At Donington

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Adam Carroll scored pole position for his debut Auto GP race at Donington Park with a perfect lap at the end of the qualifying session.

Carroll's Campos Racing teammate Bruno Mendez was the first man to top the timesheets as the session got underway, before Carroll went quickest with his second effort. Kevin Ceccon moved into second place, with another debutant Daniel De Jong third.

Rio Haryanto then spun into the gravel, bringing out the yellow flags and ending his session early. With 20 minutes remaining in the session Ceccon went fastest, eight tenths quicker than Carroll. Luca Filippi meanwhile moved into second place, four tenths off Ceccon.

Carroll and Filippi soon moved to the top, nearly half a second clear of Ceccon, with the Northern Irishman just nine thousandths ahead of his Italian rival. Filippi's Super Nova teammate Jon Lancaster then immediately took top spot, beating Carroll's benchmark by nine hundredths of a second.

Carroll returned to the top spot on his next lap, 0.182 seconds clear as the session reached the halfway mark. As most of the drivers returned to the pits the top positions remained as they were until Filippi went fastest with six minutes remaining.

Brno winner Samuele Buttarelli slotted into second place just ahead of Carroll, just before the red flags came out after Giuseppe Cipriani had spun.

Once the session got started again things looked like they were going to remain as they were, with Filippi and Buttarelli both remaining in the pits. Fillipi’s car was suffering with a fuel pick-up problem, it later conspired.

Carroll though went fastest in every sector to take pole position as the checkered flag went out. Filippi remained in second place, three tenths away from Carroll, with Buttarelli holding fourth. Lancaster ended up in fourth place, with Ceccon in fifth.

The Lazarus pairing of Fabrizio Crestani and Fabio Onidi who had dominated free practice could only manage sixth and seventh respectively. Mendez was eighth, ahead of teammate Adrian Campos Jr and De Jong.

“I've never been the one who underestimates the competition, and I couldn't have done that in a top-notch series as Auto GP,” said Carroll. “That's why, even if I knew that I could do well, I wasn't taking this pole for granted. It arrived thanks to a really amazing lap, in which I improved my previous laptime by four tenths. It was already a good lap, so being able to go so much quicker surprised me, but this means that my feeling with the car and with the Michelin tyres is already very good.”

Qualifying results:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Adam Carroll Campos Racing 1:16.891   15
2 Luca Filippi Supernova Racing 1:17.196 0.305 14
3 Samuele Buttarelli TP Formula 1:17.331 0.440 14
4 Jon Lancaster Supernova Racing 1:17.558 0.667 18
5 Kevin Ceccon Ombra Racing 1:17.733 0.842 17
6 Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus 1:17.768 0.877 13
7 Fabio Onidi Lazarus 1:17.966 1.075 15
8 Bruno Mendez Campos Racing 1:17.986 1.095 15
9 Adrian Campos Jr Campos Racing 1:18.115 1.224 16
10 Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:18.285 1.394 15
11 Giovanni Venturini Griffitz Durango 1:18.354 1.463 18
12 Pasquale Di Sabatino TP Formula 1:18.387 1.496 15
13 Giuseppe Cipriani Griffitz Durango 1:19.451 2.560 16
14 Francesco Dracone Ombra Racing 1:20.915 4.024 12
15 Rio Haryanto Dams 1:25.229 8.338 2
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About author
Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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