Valencia - ESP

Sundberg takes pole in Qualifying 1

Making the most of his inside knowledge of Valencia, Peter Sundberg took pole in the first qualifying session, one that decided the grid order for Race 1

By topping the timesheet with his 1:44.990, the Swede earns top spot on the grid for the fourth time this season and also the point awarded to the fastest driver at the end of the timed twenty minutes.

The gap to the rest of the pack is one of the widest of the season at almost a second (862 thousandths) over Paolo Necchi. Also revealing is the six laps run by the provisional championship leader compared to the ten covered by the Motormedia director. This advantage could prove decisive in the race.

Still, Paolo Necchi, was the best of the chasing pack. He edged out the other title contenders, starting with Pietro Zumerle (1:45.910), undone at the end by a super-fast lap, Sergio Rota (1:46.389) and Ardagna Perez (1:46.627). These will be the four drivers contesting the podium spots tomorrow.

Over in GT4, Stefano Gai has set out his stall by taking sixth overall and first in his category with 1:46.823. His closest rival, Jonathan Sicart, currently leading the GT4 series, is two seconds down on Gai. However, the Frenchman usually gives his best in races and so is not worried by the result.

Switching back to the outcome of qualifying, Francesco Maggi's seventh place in his comeback deserves a mention. He just beat Francesco La Mazza, did well at Oschersleben. Jaime Hernandez, journalist at the Spanish paper 'El Mundo, sits in ninth. Alongside him will be Jonathon Sicart as he returns to his black GT4.

Emanuele Smurra's performance dipped below his usual standards as he could do no better than eleventh. He will have to fight to climb back through the field and keep his hopes of going for the title alive. The ex-Trofeo champion leads Andreas Segler, who put in his best display of the season, and the director of 'Automovil' magazine, Fernando Gomez Blanco. Blanco will be flanked by Tiziano Frazza.

At the back will be Marcel Pawlicek and Dario Bertanza, appearing in a GranTurismo MC GT4.

Zumerle evens things up with Sundberg

Eighty-nine thousandths make all the difference. This was the gap between first and second spot; a championship point won here and the chance to make up more points in the race there.

This time the 89 thousandths favoured Pietro Zumerle in his close duel with Paolo Necchi for pole position the Qualifying 2. The driver from Verona covered the 4051 metre Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia in 1:45.051; the Motormedia director set 1:45.140.

It was a session which, unlike the first, saw the first five drivers bunched within half a second of each other. Sergio Rota, who came home third in 1:45.456, managed to hold off an Ardagna Perez (1:45.628) once again able to keep pace with the leaders.

In fifth after a superb drive came Stefano Gai. In his GT4 he closed the session just .594 down on pole. Next up came Steven Goldstein – who shares the overall lead with Peter Sundberg – 58 thousandths quicker than Emanuele Smurra (1:46.665).

Eighth went to Jaime Hernandez who will be flanked by Francesco La Mazza in tomorrow's race, timed for 16.15 (local time). On row five will be Tiziano Frazza and Andreas Segler as they both improved on the first session. The places on row six are taken up by Jonathan Sicart and Fernando Gomez Blanco. Near the rear of the grid will be Francesco Maggi, who spun during the session; an episode which led to the red flag coming out to briefly interrupt the session. Marcel Pawlicek and Dario Bertanza wrap things up with Bertanza continuing his schooling in the GranTurismo MC GT4.

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