Red Bull Racing junior Pierre Gasly will start the first race of the 2016 GP2 Series season from pole position after dominating the qualifying for the new PREMA team at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

After an early drizzle period sent all the drivers out on track from lights out in full panic mode, the track started improving but it seemed every time Gasly crossed the line he was miles ahead.

He finally set a 1:27.807 to secure pole position, almost half a second off second-placed Racing Engineering’s Norman Nato, a lead so comfortable he decided to step out of his car before the session was over.

The second row was locked out by DAMS as Williams development driver Alex Lynn had a scruffy session on his way to third followed by his teammate, Renault test driver Nicholas Latifi.

Fellow Renault junior Sergey Sirotkin was the lead ART in fifth followed by Gustav Malja for Rapax and Oliver Rowland in the MP Motorsport.

The other ART of Nobuharu Matsushita was eighth after he was impeded by slower car of Sean Galeal, ahead of Artem Markelov and rookie Luco Ghiotto rounding up the top ten.

The Feature Race will start tomorrow, Saturday, at 15:40 local time.

2016 GP2 Series Spain – Qualifying Results
Driver Team / Entry Time Gap
1. Pierre Gasly fr PREMA Racing 1:27.807
2. Norman Nato fr Racing Engineering 1:28.271 + 0.464
3. Alex Lynn uk DAMS 1:28.458 + 0.651
4. Nicholas Latifi ca DAMS 1:28.563 + 0.756
5. Sergey Sirotkin ru ART Grand Prix 1:28.655 + 0.848
6. Gustav Malja se Rapax 1:28.695 + 0.888
7. Oliver Rowland uk MP Motorsport 1:28.807 + 1.000
8. Nobuharu Matsushita* jp ART Grand Prix 1:29.128 + 1.321
9. Artem Markelov ru RUSSIAN TIME 1:29.129 + 1.322
10. Luca Ghiotto it Trident 1:29.143 + 1.336
11. Antonio Giovanazzi it PREMA Racing 1:29.163 + 1.356
12. Raffaele Marciello it RUSSIAN TIME 1:29.274 + 1.467
13. Jordan King uk Racing Engineering 1:29.322 + 1.515
14. Arthur Pic fr Rapax 1:29.385 + 1.578
15. Sergio Canamasas es Carlin 1:29.397 + 1.590
16. Marvin Kirchöfer de Carlin 1:29.440 + 1.633
17. Daniel de Jong nl MP Motorsport 1:29.464 + 1.657
18. Mitch Evans nz Pertamina Campos Racing 1:29.478 + 1.671
19. Jimmy Eriksson se Arden International 1:29.942 + 2.135
20. Nabil Jeffri my Arden International 1:30.254 + 2.447
21. Sean Galeal* id Pertamina Campos Racing 1:30.304 + 2.497
22. Philo Paz Armand id Trident 1:30.609 + 2.802

* Post-Qualifying grid penalties:

  • Nobuharu Matsushita, who provisionally qualified eighth-fastest, will serve a three-place grid penalty as punishment for unsportsmanlike driving against Sean Galeal during qualifying.
  • Sean Galeal, who provisionally qualified 21st-fastest, will serve a three-place grid penalty as punishment for unsportsmanlike driving against Nobuharu Matsushita during qualifying. As he is unable to serve the full grid penalty, he will start the Feature Race from the pit lane.

Image via GP2 Series Media

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Ahmad Shallouf

Contributing Writer at MotorsportM8