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Max Chilton has picked up the GP2 pole at Monza, carrying his rapid pace through from practice. The Englishman spun into the Parabolica gravel at the end of the session, inadvertently preventing his rivals from beating him. Fifth placed Davide Valsecchi was the fastest championship contender, with Luiz Razia down in 12th position.
Chilton’s top spot came courtesy of his 1:31.886 lap time, edging out Giedo van der Garde’s Caterham by the tiny margin of six hundredths. Johnny Cecotto was third quickest, but because of a five-place penalty will fall back to eighth spot on tomorrow’s grid. The field was compact, with less than one second covering the first 18 cars.
It looked as though pole position belonged to van der Garde, with Chilton then seizing the place to the delight of the Carlin team; the English squad’s smiles remained as the Dutchman failed to move back up, despite improving his lap time on the final run.
The title battle is poised to be dramatic with just four races to go, as Valsecchi and Razia are level on points after last weekend’s Spa dramas. It was a disappointing afternoon for the Britons, as James Calado – who spun off in practice – and Jolyon Palmer finished 13th and 15th.
Monza’s GP2 Feature Race begins at 3:40pm local time (BST +1) on Saturday
|2.||G. van der Garde||Caterham||01:31.953||13|
|3.||J. Cecotto Jr.||Addax||01:32.151||6|
|7.||F. Leimer||Racing Engin.||01:32.324||13|
|11 May||Palmer, Bird and Berthon get penalties|
|10 Dec '12||Palmer joins Carlin for 2013 title assault|
|22 Sep '12||Chilton wins as Valsecchi becomes GP2 Champion|
|7 Sep '12||Chilton clinches pole before spinning|
|GP2: Italy 2012|
|9 Sep '12||Latest GP2 photos: Sunday at Monza|
|9 Sep '12||Valsecchi boosts title hopes with Italian win|
|8 Sep '12||Latest GP2 photos: Saturday at Monza|
|8 Sep '12||Filippi wins comeback race as Razia retires|
|4 May||Gonzalez to stand in for Chilton in Spain|
|15 Apr||'It's starting to come together' – Chilton|
|26 Mar||Video: Marussia drivers play Jenga|
|23 Mar||Chilton suffering with tyre degradation|
|24 May||Cecotto Jr. suspended from Sprint Race|
|24 May||Latest GP2 photos: Friday in Monaco|
|24 May||Bird avoids drama to win opening race|
|24 May||Video: First corner pile-up in Feature Race|
|More Max Chilton photos|