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Robbery caps van der Garde's Black Friday

10 September 2011

Giedo van der Garde is still the leading contender for second position in the GP2 drivers championship, but after a disastrous qualifying session for the Barwa Addax driver his awful day ended up in his hire car being robbed.

"What a disaster!" he tweeted in the evening. "Just came back from the police, me and my trainers bags where stolen from the car! Everything gone, laptops documents etc."

The robbery came hot on the heels of a frankly dreadful qualifying for him which left him facing the start of the Monza feature race on Saturday afternoon from 20th position on the grid.

"I've never had a session like this before," van der Garde told reporters. "I didn't get one clear lap."

Van der Garde's runs were affected by extended yellow flags, first for a crash by Esteban Gutierrez and later because of Pal Varhaug coming to atop with a flat tyre. When he did get to run, he was held up be traffic on track.

"It's a joke!!!" he tweeted later. "It's really unbelievable."

Van der Garde had been looking in good form in the Friday morning practice and posted the eighth fastest time, and the strength of the Barwa Addax package was confirmed when his team mate Charles Pic put in an unbeatable lap early in the half hour qualifying session to claim pole position.

Pic is one of those drivers who could steal the runners-up spot from van der Garde at the end of this final race weekend of the season, as could Luca Filippi (second place on the grid) and Sam Bird (ninth).

But van der Garde's closest rival, Jules Bianchi, had an equally dismal time in qualifying and will start from 19th alongside the Dutchman. The Lotus ART driver blamed understeer for his own problems, with small adjustments to the car and hotter track conditions combining so that "It didn't feel like the same car ... we couldn't get it to work."

Coming on top of this turbulent afternoon in the cockpit, the robbery was the icing on a particularly inedible cake as far as van der Garde was concerned.

"After such a bad day this incident can come also! It's time for some luck and a new day," he tweeted. "Wish me all the luck ... I need it!"


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