Vandoorne secures first pole at home

Stoffel Vandoorne

Image credit – GP2 Media Service

The weather conditions weren’t too dissimilar to those that graced the Practice session earlier in the day. The rain that had threatened all day long didn’t arrive and we were left with a dry shootout for pole position.

Johnny Cecotto’s pace on the out lap was leisurely to say the least which created a bunched field behind. Jolyon Palmer managed to stay clear of the train of cars and top the session in the early stages with a lap time of 1:56.857 ahead of home driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

ART Grand Prix’s other driver Takuya Izawa had his session end early when a spin at Paul Frère corner stopped the Japanese driver continuing. Although his time of 2:40.364 is well outside the 107% time, he should be cleared to race this weekend as he showed to be on the pace during Practice where he placed P17.

Daniël de Jong’s first lap was good enough for P7 but that didn’t stop the Dutchman continuing his trend of going out during the mid-session lull for another attempt. For the third weekend in a row de Jong tried his hand on an empty track but in the middle sector he stopped his attempt and returned to the pits.

René Binder looked like he was driving a very unsettled Arden car with a number of lock ups. The Austrian driver still managed to place 17th for the Feature Race.

The closing stages saw Julián Leal looking to improve his position from P5. The Colombian driver was on the pace through the first two sectors but had his lap balked completely by his team mate Felipe Nasr no less at the Bus Stop chicane. His frustration was clear to see from the cockpit.

Jolyon Palmer came into the pits before the session ended, confident in his time which was holding him on provisional pole. He didn’t bargain on Stoffel Vandoorne improving on home soil to go 0.018 faster and taking the four points that come with pole position.

There have only been two Belgian GP2 drivers; Jérôme d’Ambrosio and Stoffel Vandoorne. Both took their maiden pole positions in the Series at their home race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Position Driver Team Gap
1 Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:56.839
2 Palmer DAMS 0.018
3 Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 0.218
4 Marciello Racing Engineering 0.398
5 Cecotto Trident 0.405
6 Leal Carlin 0.432
7 Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 0.433
8 Trummer Rapax 0.445
9 Sørensen MP Motorsport 0.550
10 Richelmi DAMS 0.609
11 Nasr Carlin 0.636
12 Pic Campos Racing 0.677
13 De Jong MP Motorsport 0.867
14 Dillmann EQ8 Caterham Racing 0.931
15 Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 0.949
16 Coletti Racing Engineering 1.005
17 Binder Arden International 1.012
18 Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1.036
19 Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1.135
20 Negrão Arden International 1.163
21 Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1.166
22 Sato Campos Racing 1.346
23 Lancaster Hilmer Motorsport 1.379
24 Canamasas Trident 1.456
25 Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1.631
26 Izawa ART Grand Prix 43.525
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