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Bird clips van der Garde's wings in practice

GP2 Asia arrives at the historic circuit of Imola for the final event of its shortened 2011 season, with Sam Bird putting in the fastest time in practice ahead of Giedo van der Garde.
The San Marino track was a hastily-arranged stand-in after the series original two rounds in Bahrain were cancelled because of the political unrest there. As a result of GP2 visiting Imola for the first time since 2006, an extra morning practice session was arranged to allow the drivers to get used to the unfamiliar layout.

Barwa Addax's Giedo van der Garde was the most consistent performer of the morning, topping the Practice 1 timesheets and coming second in the subsequent session, but the overall fastest time of practice went to iSport's Sam Bird with 1:28.312s.

Practice 1 saw two yellow flags: Bird's iSport team mate Marcus Ericsson stopped at Turn 5 early in the session, while Dams' Romain Grosjean stopped at Turn 6 later on. Both drivers were sidelined and unable to run in Practice 2 as a result, which saw Lotus ART's Esteban Gutierrez lose control at Turn 6 and damage his front wing in the final moments of the session.

Practice also saw the return of Luca Filippi to Scuderia Coloni Fillipi was 12th in Practice 1 but missed Practice 2 with mechanical problems. Fillipi is a late stand-in for James Jakes, who was in the US earlier this week at the official pre-season IndyCar test in a Dale Coyne Racing car amid strong rumours that a deal has been done to put Jakes in IndyCar for the 2011 season.

Qualifying starts at 2.30pm GMT (15:30 local time.)

For full practice times, see the results section.



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