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Palmer blitzes field to take Monaco GP2 pole

Thursday, May 22 2014

Jolyon Palmer dominated this afternoon's (Thursday) split GP2 qualifying on the legendary Monaco streets to take pole position for tomorrow's Feature Race. His second pole in the three rounds so far this season gives Jolyon four championship points, further extending his lead at the top of the GP2 standings.

With 26 cars in the field and the Monaco circuit being just over two miles long, qualifying was split into two 16 minute sessions to counter potential traffic issues, with odd numbered cars in the first session, and even numbered cars in the second. Whichever session proved quickest would be the one where pole position was decided.

Jolyon (car number 7) was in the first session and was the first driver to set a lap time, a 1m23.308s and then pitted early for new tyres. Upon returning to the track Jolyon immediately set three overall best sector times to go fastest once more. His time, a 1m20.774s was just a fraction off his lap from this morning's earlier practice session, despite a heavy rain shower between sessions. His nearest challenger, Mitch Evans, was 0.4s behind with Jolyon the only driver to get into the 1m20s bracket.

With Jolyon guaranteed at least a front row start, the drivers in the second session were much slower meaning Palmer secured pole position from Rio Haryanto who was quickest in the second session.

Crucially, Jolyon's immediate championship rivals, Julian Leal and Felipe Nasr will start from 10th and 15th places respectively. With overtaking at a premium in Monaco, Jolyon is well placed to further stretch his championship advantage in the Feature Race, which starts at 10.15am tomorrow (Friday).

Speaking at the end of the session, Jolyon enthused: "I'm absolutely delighted with pole! After coming so close last year, to do it and in such a dominant fashion this year is fantastic. We saw last year that anything can still happen in the race but we are in the best possible position for the start."

Monaco GP2 Qualifying result:

1. Jolyon Palmer, DAMS, 1m20.774s - Session 1
2. Rio Haryanto, Caterham, 1m21.433 - Session 2
3. Mitch Evans, Russian Time, 1m21.188s - Session 1
4. Stephane Richelmi, DAMS, 1m21.444s - Session 2
5. Johnny Cecotto, Trident, 1m21.361s - Session 1
6. Stoffel Vandoorne, ART GP, 1m21.508s - Session 2
7. Daniel Abt, ART GP, 1m21.760s - Session 1
8. Stefano Coletti, Racing Engineering, 1m21.649s - Session 2
9. Raffaele Marciello, Racing Engineering, 1m21.917s - Session 1
10. Julian Leal, Carlin, 1m21.752s - Session 2

For more information on Jolyon Palmer, visit his official website www.jolyonpalmer.com