American Phil Giebler replaced Robbie Kerr in the second Den Bla Avis car for round two of the FIA F3000 Championship at the Circuit de Catalunya and, having never driven an F3000 car before, impressed onlookers with his immediate pace.

The American F3 graduate only had the 30-minute practice session before going straight into the 40-minute qualifying session to set the grid for Saturday's race, but did an impressive job to be lying twelfth before spinning off with just under ten minutes of the session remaining. As a result of his indiscretion, Giebler dropped to 14th by the end of the session, but still created the right impression.

"On my first set of tyres, it was quite a difficult experience for me, as I was never going to be at a point when you can get the quickest time out of the first set because you have to have a lot of confidence in yourself, the car and the circuit," he explained, "I felt a bit more confident on my second set, and I could push a bit more and slightly improved.

"Time-wise we were not too far off the pace, and I think we did a pretty good job considering I came here with no experience of the car. But you always want to do better, even when you're on pole."

"Phil did a stunning job, especially considering he didn't sit in the car before today," DBA team manager Paul Jackson admitted, "He used the first session to learn as much as he could about the car and, in the qualifying session, he kept improving on both sets of tyres. I feel there is more to come from him.

"Given some sensible mileage in the car, he looks to have the potential to be very competitive. When you consider that he's only eight-tenths away from second position and it is the first time that he has ever driven the car, you have to say that there is definitely some talent there which we would like to exploit further. I hope he has a good race to give him more experience of the car."

Team-mate Nicolas Kiesa struggled during the qualifying session and was lying at the back of the grid until he put a good lap time in right at the very end of the 40 minutes to move himself up into ninth position.

"We had a really difficult qualifying session today because the circuit had changed a lot since we tested here," the Dane explained, "The set-up of the car was not really easy to drive so, in the end, I had to put a lap together under the conditions of how the car wanted to drive rather than how I wanted to drive myself. I'm not satisfied being ninth, but I'm very satisfied being ninth with the car that we had today."

"Nicolas seemed to struggle in qualifying and couldn't really pinpoint the problem which was causing his lack of speed," Jackson confirmed, "He felt the car was inconsistent from one lap to the another, but finally managed a reasonable lap on his last set of tyres. I suspect a lot of the problem was purely the track conditions, which are hugely different from the test here. We shall analyse the data and see if we can improve his situation for the race."

Pole position went to Durango's Giorgio Pantano, ahead of race one winner Bjorn Wirdheim.