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
|1||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||ART Grand Prix||1:56.839|
|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|
|7||Nathanael Berthon||FRA||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:57.272|
|9||Marco Sorensen||DEN||MP Motorsport||1:57.389|
|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|
|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**