Rain Master Haryanto Gets First GP2 Pole At Spa

Rio Haryanto - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service

Rio Haryanto sealed his reputation as a specialist in wet conditions by scoring his first GP2 pole position in a typically soaking qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Indonesian was the man the beat from the off in the delayed session, when he was the first man to put a time on the board. Fellow GP3 graduate James Calado briefly bettered the Carlin driver’s time with his own first effort, but Haryanto soon returned to top spot.

Haryanto was still in P1 midway through the session, as Calado got edged down the leaderboard after pitting. Haryanto sealed the pole with an improved effort in the final five minutes, putting him out of reach of the Lotus GP duo of Calado and Esteban Gutierrez.

Marcus Ericsson was also in the battle for pole and wound up in fourth, half a second behind Haryanto and three tenths ahead of his iSport International teammate Jolyon Palmer. Palmer edged out title contender Davide Valsecchi, while Sergio Canamasas took an impressive seventh place in just his third GP2 qualifying session.

Practice pacesetter Fabio Leimer was unable to repeat his performance from the wet qualifying at Silverstone and finished up eighth ahead of Felipe Nasr and Giedo van der Garde.

Stefano Coletti was 11th, ahead of Nathanael Berthon and Haryanto’s teammate Max Chilton. Fabio Onidi was 14th, Josef Kral 15th, Victor Guerin 16th and Julian Leal 17th, while Ricardo Teixeira managed to out-qualify points leader Luiz Razia who had a shocker in 19th – more than three seconds off pole.

Rodolfo Gonzalez, Nigel Melker, Daniel de Jong, Stephane Richelmi and Simon Trummer filled places 20 to 24. After a heavy crash at Pouhon at the end of the free practice session, Johnny Cecotto only managed a few laps and 25th place, while debutant Rene Binder kept Giancarlo Serenelli’s car at the bottom of the pile.

The feature race takes place at 14:40 BST.