Evans struggles to 17th as Bird continues GP3 charge

Autosport

Britain’s Sam Bird scored his second GP2 Series pole position in a row at Monza on Friday afternoon, beating title rival Fabio Leimer to the four points for top spot.

Bird lapped the Italian Grand Prix venue in his Russian Time car in 1m31.788s in the closing minutes of the session, pipping Racing Engineering’s Leimer by 0.034 seconds.

The pole bonus puts Bird within 10 points of the series lead.

Practice pacesetter Jolyon Palmer was again bang in the mix, and set the pace in the first half of the session.

But his final effort was stymied by a slide at Ascari just after he had set the pace through the second sector, and he was forced to settle for third in his Carlin machine.

Marcus Ericsson will start fourth for DAMS, ahead of Tom Dillmann in the second Russian Time car.

Points leader Stefano Coletti will start sixth, enjoying an upswing over the recent form that has allowed rivals to carve into his advantage. The Monagasque has only scored once in the last eight races.

Dani Clos was an impressive seventh ahead of James Calado, fresh from Force India Formula 1 duties.

The title contender who suffered most, however, was second-placed Felipe Nasr, who will start down in 12th.

The session was interrupted by two lengthy yellow-flag periods, both at Parabolica. First, Sergio Canamasas spun and reversed into the gravel at the entry to the right-hand sweeper, which ruined better first-run laps for Palmer and Leimer.

Then Vittorio Ghirelli spun off at the exit a few moments later, and got himself beached in the gravel. The red flags were then thrown to allow marshals to clean the track.

Pos  Driver               Team                Time       Gap
 1.  Sam Bird             Russian Time        1m31.788s
 2.  Fabio Leimer         Racing Engineering  1m31.822s  +0.034s
 3.  Jolyon Palmer        Carlin              1m31.843s  +0.055s
 4.  Marcus Ericsson      DAMS                1m31.915s  +0.127s
 5.  Tom Dillmann         Russian Time        1m31.949s  +0.161s
 6.  Stefano Coletti      Rapax               1m31.993s  +0.205s
 7.  Dani Clos            MP                  1m32.024s  +0.236s
 8.  James Calado         ART                 1m32.033s  +0.245s
 9.  Jake Rosenzweig      Addax               1m32.100s  +0.312s
10.  Simon Trummer        Rapax               1m32.164s  +0.376s
11.  Stephane Richelmi    DAMS                1m32.168s  +0.380s
12.  Felipe Nasr          Carlin              1m32.381s  +0.593s
13.  Rio Haryanto         Addax               1m32.384s  +0.596s
14.  Julian Leal          Racing Engineering  1m32.398s  +0.610s
15.  Alexander Rossi      Caterham            1m32.447s  +0.659s
16.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs  Hilmer              1m32.462s  +0.674s
17.  Mitch Evans          Arden               1m32.481s  +0.693s
18.  Jon Lancaster        Hilmer              1m32.482s  +0.694s
19.  Nathanael Berthon    Trident             1m32.554s  +0.766s
20.  Daniel Abt           ART                 1m32.627s  +0.839s
21.  Johnny Cecotto       Arden               1m32.650s  +0.862s
22.  Daniel de Jong       MP                  1m32.751s  +0.963s
23.  Sergio Campana       Trident             1m33.195s  +1.407s
24.  Rene Binder          Lazarus             1m33.292s  +1.504s
25.  Vittorio Ghireli     Lazarus             1m33.405s  +1.617s
26.  Sergio Canamasas     Caterham            1m34.963s  +3.175s

Evans struggles to 17th as Bird continues GP3 charge

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