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Piquet Jr takes Valencia pole

Nelson Piquet Jr kicked off the GP2 season in commanding style by taking pole position for the opening round in Valencia.

Piquet Jr recorded a late effort of 1:17.886 to snatch the top spot from iSport rookie Tristan Gommendy by four tenths of a second.

ART Grand Prix's Lewis Hamilton had held the pole for most of the season, but the F3 Euroseries champion was bumped to third in the dying minutes, and when Ferdinando Monfardini spun his DAMS car with only two minutes left on the clock, Hamilton's hopes of fighting back were quashed.

Fourth went to another series rookie, Adrian Valles, giving Campos Racing their best-ever qualifying position.

Two series veterans were up next, with Ernesto Viso making it a good day for iSport in fifth and Jose Maria Lopez taking sixth on his Super Nova debut.

The short and twisty Valencia circuit was always going to put a premium on finding a clear lap in traffic, and a rash of yellow flags complicated things further.

Of the big names to fall foul of this were Alex Premat in ninth, Lucas di Grassi in 20th and Nicoals Lapierre, who complained of being baulked by Lopez three times and was an unhappy 21st.

Adam Carroll man-handled his recalcitrant Racing Engineering car to 13th, while Trident Racing had a low-key debut with Gimmi Bruni 10th and Andreas Zuber 14th.


Pos  Driver         Team                      Time             Laps
 1.  Piquet         Piquet Sports             1:17.886          15
 2.  Gommendy       iSport International      1:18.360 + 0.474  17
 3.  Hamilton       ART Grand Prix            1:18.400 + 0.514  14
 4.  Valles         Campos Racing             1:18.551 + 0.665  15
 5.  Viso           iSport International      1:18.623 + 0.737  16
 6.  Lopez          Super Nova International  1:18.659 + 0.773  14
 7.  Ammermuller    Arden International       1:18.681 + 0.795  15
 8.  Porteiro       Campos Racing             1:18.717 + 0.831  16
 9.  Premat         ART Grand Prix            1:18.752 + 0.866  15
10.  Bruni          Trident Racing            1:18.772 + 0.886  16
11.  Negrao         Piquet Sports             1:18.886 + 1.000  16
12.  Perera         Dams                      1:18.890 + 1.004  14
13.  Carroll        Racing Engineering        1:18.893 + 1.007  15
14.  Zuber          Trident Racing            1:18.918 + 1.032  16
15.  Pla            DPR Direxiv               1:19.106 + 1.220  14
16.  Piccione       DPR Direxiv               1:19.199 + 1.313  15
17.  Monfardini     Dams                      1:19.217 + 1.331  12
18.  Yoshimoto      BCN Competicion           1:19.251 + 1.365  11
19.  Filippi        FMS International         1:19.294 + 1.408   8
20.  di Grassi      Durango                   1:19.349 + 1.463  16
21.  Lapierre       Arden International       1:19.602 + 1.716  15
22.  Fauzy          Super Nova International  1:19.725 + 1.839  14
23.  Glock          BCN Competicion           1:20.092 + 2.206  16
24.  Hernandez      Durango                   1:20.142 + 2.256  15
25.  Villa          Racing Engineering        1:20.339 + 2.453  16
26.  Tahinci        FMS International         1:20.994 + 3.108   6
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