Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service
Stefano Coletti scored his first GP2 pole position in an extremely close qualifying session for the opening race of the season in Malaysia, with just eight thousandths of a second separating the top three.
Monegasque driver Coletti set his best lap with just over ten minutes remaining in the session. Felipe Nasr then fell 0.008 seconds short of the benchmark, before practice pacesetter and pre-season favourite James Calado went just 0.004s slower to slot into second place.
Fabio Leimer had been sitting pretty on top spot at the halfway stage but had to make do with fourth place. Sam Bird was a strong fifth on his first day in a GP2 car since late 2011 with new team Russian Time.
His session was interrupted however when Johnny Cecotto drove towards the British driver and forced him off track. Stewards are investigating the incident.
Cecotto?s Arden teammate Mitch Evans was a fine sixth on his GP2 debut ahead of Rio Haryanto, while Rene Binder and Simon Trummer scored their best qualifying results in eighth and ninth. Tom Dillmann rounded out the top ten.
The feature race takes place at 11:15 local time on Saturday, or 03:15 GMT.
|2||James Calado||ART Grand Prix||8||1:44.284||0.004|
|4||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||8||1:44.463||0.183|
|5||Sam Bird||RUSSIAN TIME||9||1:44.598||0.318|
|6||Mitch Evans||Arden International||12||1:44.618||0.338|
|7||Rio Haryanto||Barwa Addax Team||10||1:44.681||0.401|
|8||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||9||1:44.687||0.407|
|10||Tom Dillmann||RUSSIAN TIME||11||1:44.731||0.451|
|11||Julian Leal||Racing Engineering||11||1:44.732||0.452|
|12||Sergio Canamasas||Caterham Racing||12||1:44.761||0.481|
|14||Johnny Cecotto||Arden International||10||1:44.788||0.508|
|15||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||MP Motorsport||14||1:45.191||0.911|
|17||Conor Daly||Hilmer Motorsport||12||1:45.289||1.009|
|18||Nathana?l Berthon||Trident Racing||11||1:45.378||1.098|
|19||Kevin Ceccon||Trident Racing||12||1:45.491||1.211|
|20||Ma Qing Hua||Caterham Racing||10||1:45.497||1.217|
|21||Daniel De Jong||MP Motorsport||13||1:45.522||1.242|
|22||Daniel Abt||ART Grand Prix||9||1:45.593||1.313|
|24||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||11||1:45.708||1.428|
|25||Pal Varhaug||Hilmer Motorsport||12||1:45.830||1.550|
|26||Kevin Giovesi||Venezuela GP Lazarus||12||1:45.985||1.705|