Giorgio Pantano set the pace for Racing Engineering in qualifying for the latest rounds of the GP2 Series with the current points leader dominating proceedings in Germany.
The drivers all elected to put in a banker lap early in the session with Andy Zuber, Bruno Senna, Pantano and Romain Grosjean all setting strong times as they found space in traffic.
However, Pantano made the decision to stay out a lap longer than most of his rivals and it turned out to be the key decision of the session as a lap of 1m 21.650s proving to be unbeatable to the remainder of the session as temperatures dropped and cloud closed in.
“Everything went very well,” he said. “We understood from free practice what we needed to improve for qualifying. We did the job and I think we did a perfect lap, the car was perfect and I was almost perfect. I have to say thanks to the team as they worked hard to prepare the car for qualifying.”
Pantano ended up ahead of Grosjean on the front row, with Zuber and Sebastien Buemi locking out row two for Piquet Sports and Arden. Lucas di Grassi and Pantano's big championship rival Bruno Senna rounded out the top six.
Sakon Yamamoto, on his return to the series with ART, posted the twelfth quickest time putting him just ahead of the man he replaced Luca Filippi following his switch to Trust Team Arden.