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di Grassi secures Hungarian pole
24 July 2009
Having set the pace in practice, Lucas di Grassi emerged on top of the pile again to secure pole position for the latest round of the GP2 Series at the Hungaroring.
The Brazilian led the way for much of the session at the Hungarian circuit and clinched pole for Racing Engineering by less than a tenth of a second from Addax driver Vitaly Petrov with a time of 1min 27.867secs.
For Romain Grosjean however, at a circuit where there had been suggestions he could get his chance in F1 with Renault, things didn't go to plan, with the sister Addax car consigned to the back of the grid.
With clear laps a rarity on the tight, twisty circuit, di Grassi was immediately on the pace, although Petrov was looking to strike back when Grosjean clipped his countryman Franck Perera's wheel, putting both men out on the spot and prompting a red flag period just seven minutes into the session.
When the track was cleared the drivers were immediately back out and hunting down lap times. Javier Villa claimed the fastest first sector, Petrov the fastest second sector (and, briefly, the best overall time) but di Grassi claimed the fastest time in the tricky third sector, settling him up for the best combined lap.
That proved to be enough: with the usual heavy traffic conditions throughout in the third sector of the circuit ensuring that the top three was set with di Grassi ahead of Petrov and Villa.
“I think we started the second half of the championship very well being able to get P1 in free practice and qualifying,” di Grassi said. “It was a tough battle within the top three in qualifying, and I think there was potential to improve my lap time even more. The team did an awesome job and now we will work hard in order to prepare tomorrow's race.”
Davide Valsecchi will start from fourth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, while the top ten is completed by Luca Filippi, Pastor Maldonado, Andreas Zuber, Davide Rigon and Roldan Rodriguez.
The top 14 drivers qualified within a second of each other at a circuit where overtaking is far from easy.
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