GP2 Series

Pole-Man Van Der Garde “Really Enjoyed” Wet Hockenheim Qualifying

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Giedo van der Garde - Photo Credit: GP2 Series

Giedo van der Garde says that he “really enjoyed” himself as he took pole position in the wet GP2 qualifying session at the Hockenheim.

It was the second pole position of the Dutchman's season, and came after he set the fastest time of the session just before rain got heavier.

“When we went out the track was wet but nothing too bad,” said the Caterham Racing driver. “The team told me to push from the start so I did just that and from the first lap I was P1!

“I kept pushing and improving before the heavy rain began and we went back into the pits. At that stage I didn’t really want to go out again but the team wanted to make sure pole was secure, which I completely understand, so we went out again and I was still fast!

“I like this track in the rain – it’s a bit like a go kart track so I really enjoyed myself today. Pole here is good news for the team, especially after such a tough time in Silverstone, so today is for the whole Caterham Racing team, and for me. Everyone is happy so let’s try and keep this momentum going and get on the podium tomorrow.”

An off-track moment early in the session limited teammate Rodolfo Gonzalez to 24th place.

“It was a difficult session for me today and we will make some setup changes ahead of the feature race tomorrow,” he explained.

“After I spun off this afternoon we made some changes and we were able to match our times from earlier on in the session when the track was much drier, but by then the track was about 4 seconds slower, so that’s obviously a bit frustrating, but that was the call we made.

“It will be a tough race tomorrow from the back of the grid but I will do the best job I can, stay out of any trouble and have a positive race.”

Giedo Van der Garde - Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service

The Caterham GP2 team had to deal with rain on their first day competing at Hockenheim – Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service

Team Manager Phill Spencer was pleased with van der Garde's result after a difficult time in Silverstone.

“I am really pleased for the whole team today,” Spencer said.

“We have put in a lot of hard work since Silverstone where we had to deal with some difficult circumstances, but we have taken everything we learnt on board and moved on and it shows in Giedo’s performance today. It is brilliant to know now that we have a decent car in the wet as well as the dry so all we need is to get the car to the finish line and keep our sights on the podium!

“On the other hand sadly Rodolfo had another off and damaged his nose when the track was coming into its best condition so he has ended up 24th. All we can do now is to make sure he has a good car for tomorrow and hope he can have a good clean race.”

Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett added: “Giedo did a great job today. He was right on the pace when the track was at its best and we could see on the radars that the rain was coming so we told him he had to push in the first ten minutes of the session and that is exactly what he did, so all credit it to him.

“He said he was happy with the car which is pleasing after all the problems we had in Silverstone. It is a nice feeling to be on pole fair and square and it’s a great start to our weekend here in Germany. Now we have to convert that into a result tomorrow, but I know he likes this circuit in the rain so we are feeling quite positive about the race.

“What can I say for Rodolfo. He knocked his nose in contact which lost him time in the pit lane when the track was at its best and when we got him back out again and his tyres were up to heat it was all but over. The rain started falling more heavily and with nothing to lose we changed the setup but no one improved their times in the second half of the session so it was just unfortunate circumstances today. I feel really bad for him. He was so enthusiastic it would be so good to see him up there but it looks set to be another wet race tomorrow so anything can happen. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

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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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