Leimer takes dominant Sakhir pole
19 April 2013 – Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer claimed pole position for the GP2 Feature Race at Sakhir with a stunning lap in this afternoon's qualifying session. The Swiss driver, who posted a personal best time of 1:39.427, finished almost a second clear of nearest rival Marcus Ericsson, while Felipe Nasr completed the top three positions.
After a rain shower affected practice earlier on Friday, the drivers enjoyed completely dry conditions this afternoon. When the action got underway, Leimer quickly stamped his authority over the rest of field and led the way with a 1:40.044. That time would have been strong enough for pole position in itself, but the 24-year-old found even more time on his second run to finish comfortably clear of Ericsson and Nasr.
Stefano Coletti, who sits seven points clear in the championship standings after the first two races of the season in Malaysia, claimed the final spot on the second row of the grid, just ahead of Tom Dillmann and Stéphane Richelmi. Caterham Racing rookie Alexander Rossi, who has replaced Ma Qing Hua, claimed a seventh in his first ever GP2 qualifying session, with Adrian Quaife-Hobbs in close company.
After his encouraging practice performance, Sam Bird had to settle for ninth, narrowly in front of Robin Frijns, who is making his first race weekend appearance of the season for Hilmer Motorsport. James Calado wound up 11th but will start from 21st due to his grid penalty, while Jolyon Palmer was the last of the Brits in 13th place.
Saturday's Feature Race at Sakhir begins at 1:45pm local time (GMT +3)