Sam Bird will start the Spa GP2 feature race from pole position after dominating qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps. The Russian Time driver set his best time on his first set of new soft tires, and although his rivals took plenty of shots at beating the Briton, nobody achieved it.
Fabio Leimer came closest, the Racing Engineering man was three tenths down on Bird after the first run. He shaved another tenth off that on his second attempt, but remained 0.199s in arrears.
The other main story of the session was points leader Stefano Coletti’s failure to convert his pace from free practice into qualifying speed. He lost a second to Bird in the middle sector alone, and will start 20th in his Rapax machine, 1.6sec off the pace. His nearest title rival, Felipe Nasr, also struggled. He will start 10th for Carlin.
ART’s James Calado qualified third, but was the best part of half a second down on Bird. Marcus Ericsson will start fourth, ahead of Alexander Rossi, Nathanael Berthon, Jolyon Palmer and Stephane Richelmi.
Sergio Canamasas qualified ninth, but will receive a 10-place grid penalty for an incident in the previous round.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Sam Bird Russian Time 1m56.957s 2. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m57.156s +0.199s 3. James Calado ART 1m57.404s +0.447s 4. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1m57.538s +0.581s 5. Alexander Rossi Caterham 1m57.578s +0.621s 6. Nathanael Berthon Trident 1m57.588s +0.631s 7. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1m57.691s +0.734s 8. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1m57.802s +0.845s 9. Sergio Canamasas Caterham 1m57.804s +0.847s10. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m57.839s +0.882s11. Robin Frijns Hilmer 1m57.881s +0.924s12. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1m57.924s +0.967s13. Tom Dillmann Russian Time 1m57.950s +0.993s14. Mitch Evans Arden 1m58.271s +1.314s15. Simon Trummer Rapax 1m58.384s +1.427s16. Dani Clos MP 1m58.385s +1.428s17. Johnny Cecotto Jr Arden 1m58.419s +1.462s18. Rio Haryanto Addax 1m58.463s +1.506s19. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Hilmer 1m58.534s +1.577s20. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1m58.618s +1.661s21. Daniel de Jong MP 1m58.789s +1.832s22. Rene Binder Lazarus 1m58.803s +1.846s23. Vittorio Ghirelli Lazarus 1m58.831s +1.874s24. Daniel Abt ART 1m59.022s +2.065s25. Jake Rosenzweig Addax 1m59.273s +2.316s26. Ricardo Teixeira Trident 2m17.528s +20.571s