Filippi seals first Singaporean GP2 pole
21 September 2012 – Luca Filippi has maintained his impressive run of form and made history in Singapore on Friday night, becoming the first driver to collect a GP2 pole position under lights. He will share the front row of Saturday’s Feature Race with Briton Max Chilton, with championship leader Davide Valsecchi having crucially out-qualified rival Luiz Razia.
The Italian took the top spot with two minutes remaining with a time of 1:59.444, claiming pole by less than a tenth mere seconds before Nigel Melker hit the barriers underneath the Main Grandstand and brought the session to an early close.
With the track now dry thanks to the warm temperatures and the first F1 practice session, conditions were ideal for a scorching battle under the spotlights. The Lotus pair, James Calado and Esteban Gutiérrez, set the early running along with Felipe Nasr, but when series leader Davide Valsecchi took the top spot eight minutes in it looked as though he had taken another step towards the title.
However, with most of his competitors in for fresh tyres, Jolyon Palmer had other thoughts and stole provisional pole from the Italian, prompting a rethink up and down the pit lane. As the clock ticked down most of the field were improving, with Chilton, Filippi and Gutiérrez all jumping Valsecchi on the timesheets and many more looking to move up with them.
Unfortunately for them, Melker's crash came with so little time remaining that no-one would have been able to run another lap and the session was brought to an early end. Behind the top three Palmer, Fabio Leimer, Valsecchi, Johnny Cecotto, Stefano Coletti, Luiz Razia and Sergio Canamasas will instead have to channel that frustration into tomorrow's feature race.
Saturday’s Feature Race starts at 4pm local time (BST +7)