Marcus Ericsson emphatically grabbed his first GP2 pole and points of the season thanks to a storming effort in the closing minutes of the sole qualifying session.
Having headed much of the session – helped in no small part by a stellar final sector – Ericsson lost out to teammate Stephane Richelmi in final moments, before retaking the top spot.
Initial fears of an incoming rainstorm proved false; however the threat did force the field into a series of early runs, with Ericsson setting the gauntlet before the first set of stops.
Come the final stints, no one could match Ericsson’s final time of 1:28.704, giving the Swede a one-and-half tenths advantage over Richelmi as the chequered flag waved.
Felipe Nasr slotted into 3rd spot in his Carlin machine. Like many of his rivals, the Brazilian matched Ericsson in the first two sectors of the lap, only to lose entire tenths in the final few turns.
It was a similar tale for Sam Bird (Russian Time, 4th), Stefano Coletti (Rapax, 5th) and Fabio Leimer (Racing Engineering, 6th).
James Calado only completed five laps to claim 7th place; however that could put him in a nice position for the Feature Race, as times become a key factor. Robin Frijns took his Hilmer Motorsport Dallara to 8th, ahead of Kevin Ceccon (Trident, 9th) and Kevin Giovesi (Venezuela GP Lazarus, 10th).
Alexander Rossi pitted early in order to secure a free track, but struggled to improve, eventually lining up 17th. On his return to the GP2 Series, Jon Lancaster placed his Hilmer Motorsport machine 15th.
2013 GP2 Series round of Barcelona (Rd 3, Qualifying) Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1m28.706s 2. Stephane Richelmi DAMS 1m28.871s + 0.165s 3. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m29.152s + 0.446s 4. Sam Bird Russian Time 1m29.188s + 0.482s 5. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1m29.213s + 0.507s 6. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m29.293s + 0.587s 7. James Calado ART 1m29.318s + 0.612s 8. Robin Frijns Hilmer 1m29.321s + 0.615s 9. Kevin Ceccon Trident 1m29.424s + 0.718s 10. Kevin Giovesi Lazarus 1m29.425s + 0.719s 11. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1m29.609s + 0.903s 12. Daniel Abt ART 1m29.668s + 0.962s 13. Sergio Canamasas Caterham 1m29.685s + 0.979s 14. Tom Dillmann Russian Time 1m29.739s + 1.033s 15. Jon Lancaster Hilmer 1m29.759s + 1.053s 16. Jake Rosenzweig Addax 1m29.792s + 1.086s 17. Alexander Rossi Caterham 1m29.804s + 1.098s 18. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1m29.824s + 1.118s 19. Mitch Evans Arden 1m29.936s + 1.230s 20. Rene Binder Lazarus 1m29.956s + 1.250s 21. Nathanael Berthon Trident 1m29.969s + 1.263s 22. Rio Haryanto Addax 1m30.020s + 1.314s 23. Johnny Cecotto Arden 1m30.025s + 1.319s 24. Simon Trummer Rapax 1m30.025s + 1.319s 25. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP 1m30.763s + 2.057s 26. Daniel de Jong MP 1m30.773s + 2.067s