A second Auto GP qualifying session for Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, and a second pole position for the Super Nova driver as he claimed top spot in Valencia.
The British driver, who arrived in Spain tied for the championship lead, claimed provisional pole with a quick lap early in the session. Then in the final five minutes he twice improved to secure another pole position after the one he scored at the season opener at Monza.
“Two poles on two attempts sounds really good, but I have to say thanks to the team because we really had a good car,” he said. “We were quick straight out of the box in yesterday's testing, and in the first practice today we ran on very used tyres, just bedding the pads. In FP2 I was up to the pace again, and I was really confident looking to Qualifying.
“Anyway nothing was granted because we had never tried the new-spec soft tyres before and therefore we had to do some guessing. The result shows that the engineers got it right, so we can be really happy about our job. Pole is a good start, but tomorrow's race will be interesting, if the track keeps being so hot we will have to manage the tyres well to avoid any surprise.”
Russian teen Sergey Sirotkin was again the closest to Quaife-Hobbs, just as he had been in Monza. But this time the Euronova star will hope to not throw away his hard work and not stall. Today, he finished up two tenths shy of pole.
“I'm a bit disappointed because I was aiming for pole, but P2 is still ok, starting from the front row still gives me good chances for the first corner,” said Sirotkin. “I was quick, but somehow I didn't manage to put the perfect lap together: especially at the end of the session I had the best first sector, but then the second wasn't special, and despite improving my best in S3 I was still behind.”
Quaife-Hobbs' teammate Victor Guerin made it both Super Nova cars in the top three, just 0.04 ahead of South American rival Facu Regalia who took fourth at Campos Racing's home circuit.
“I'm happy about my third place, even if I believe it could have been better if I wasn't stopped twice by traffic,” said Guerin. “Slower drivers closed the door right in front of me twice, forcing me to go very hard on the brakes and wasting tyres and quick laps. Anyway Adrian was quicker today, compared to him I must still improve a bit in S1 and S3.”
Monza winner Pal Varhaug, the man tied with Quaife-Hobbs for the points lead, was fifth fastest missing out in the close battle for third by just half a tenth. Max Snegirev took sixth, but it could have been better for the Russian after setting a purple sector time in the first sector with just four minutes to go before putting his car in the gravel at the final corner and aborting the lap.
Sergio Campana and Chris van der Drift took seventh and eighth while suffering from oversteer and braking issues respectively. Antonio Spavone was ninth, with Daniel De Jong tenth having suffered a driveshaft failure midway through the session.