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Stefano Coletti stormed to his maiden GP2 pole position at Sepang on Friday afternoon, producing a personal best effort of 1:44.280 during a hotly-contested qualifying session. The Rapax driver edged out ART GP rival James Calado by four thousandths of a second, while Carlin's Felipe Nasr completed the top three runners.
Following a rain shower in the second Formula 1 practice session, the track surface had returned to a completely dry state GP2 qualifying. Sam Bird was the early pace-setter for newcomers Russian Time, but his afternoon was defined by a bizarre incident with Johnny Cecetto Jr. who forced the Briton off-track after an earlier fracas.
Amid the drama, which is being investigated, Coletti delivered his pace-setting time and spent the final stages waiting for his rivals to show their hands. The gamble ultimately paid off, with a small mistake from Calado costing him a shot at pole. Fabio Leimer claimed the final second row spot alongside Nasr, while Bird held onto fifth.
The strongest rookie performance of the day came from Mitch Evans, who placed his Arden machine sixth. The 2012 GP3 Champion finished just ahead of Rio Haryanto and René Binder, with Simon Trummer and Tom Dillmann the final top ten runners.
Saturday's Feature Race gets underway at 11.15am local time (GMT +8)
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|4.||F. Leimer||Racing Engin.||01:44.463||8|
|5.||S. Bird||Russian Time||01:44.598||9|
|10.||T. Dillmann||Russian Time||01:44.731||11|
|12 May||Coletti takes controlled Sprint Race win|
|24 Mar||Coletti triumphs in Sepang Sprint Race|
|22 Mar||Coletti claims maiden pole at Sepang|
|7 Mar||Coletti fastest on final Barcelona test day|
|GP2: Malaysia 2013|
|24 Mar||Video: Calado crashes in Sprint Race|
|24 Mar||Calado penalised for causing crash|
|23 Mar||Latest GP2 photos: Saturday at Sepang|
|23 Mar||Quaife-Hobbs given five-place grid penalty|
|5 Mar||Coletti fastest on opening day in Barcelona|
|19 Oct '12||Coletti to remain with Rapax in 2013|
|26 Apr '12||Vettel and Massa to team up next week|
|18 Nov '11||Coletti: You must not read into the test times|
|24 May||Bird avoids drama to win opening race|
|24 May||Video: First corner pile-up in Feature Race|
|24 May||GP2 race halted after first corner pile-up|
|23 May||Latest GP2 photos: Thursday in Monaco|
|More Stefano Coletti photos|