No. 1: Qualifying Round 1/2
30 April 2005
Zolder/BEL (3,977 km)
/ Weather: Dry / Cloudy
- Zolder – Qualifying
Toccacelo and Power on pole
More than 20,000 spectators converged on the Zolder circuit
today to watch qualifying for the World Series by Renault. After
witnessing a crowd-pleasing demonstration of Franck Montagny's
Renault F1 car, spectators saw pole positions taken by Enrico
Toccaccelo (Victory Engineering) and Will Power (Carlin Motorsport).
8 minutes, it was Power who held provisional pole ahead of Winkelhock
(Draco Multiracing USA) and Toccacelo. These three were the
only drivers to have gone faster than 1'19’’ at this stage.
The other drivers were finding it difficult to improve on this.
Robert Kubica (Epsilon Euskadi) nevertheless managed to grab
the 3rd best time, while Ryo Fukuda (DHG Saulnier Racing) and
Tristan Gommendy (KTR) settled into 5th and 6th.
Meanwhile, there were a series of spins at the tricky ‘Gilles
Villeneuve’ chicane, which caught out Patrick Pilet (Jenzer
Motorsport) and Milos Pavlovic (GD Racing). Only eight seconds
from the end, it was Andreas Zuber (Carlin Motorsport) who took
pole (1’18’’315). Winkelhock also improved on his time and moved
up to 2nd position, but his lap was not to count because the
yellow flag had been out at the time. In the end, it was Toccacelo
who had the final word with a lap in 1’18'’066!
Then, with Colin Fleming (Jenzer Motorsport) at a standstill
on the edge of the track, the red flag was shown and the session
was brought to a halt. As Alx Danielsson (Dams) pulled over
to let another car through, he was unable to avoid American
driver on the exit to the bend, resulting in a collision. Just
a few seconds later, Stefano Proetto (Interwetten.com) himself
ran into the two other cars. The medical team came to Alx Danielsson's
assistance and he was taken to hospital with a broken ankle.
Both Interwetten.com cars (Daniel La Rosa and Stefano Proetto),
as well as Colin Fleming's car are now ruled out of both races.
The qualifying format was then modified by the Race Director,
separating the cars into two series with 12 minutes of track
time each. In the odd-number series, Toccacelo once again reigned
supreme with a lap in 1’18’’501. The Italian driver qualified
ahead of Adrian Valles (Pons Racing) and the Frenchman Tristan
Will Power put in the best time (1’18’’313) of the even-number
series ahead of Jaap Van Lagen (KTR) and Robert Kubica (Epsilon
Euskadi). As this was the fastest session, all these drivers
will start on the pole position side of the grid.
Enrico Toccacelo: "The car is a real pleasure to drive
with the steering-wheel mounted gear shift. This morning, with
29 cars out on the track, it was difficult to get a clear lap
in. In the afternoon, the traffic was no longer a problem. But
then the trouble was how to set a good qualifying time in just
12 minutes. But in my view we put in some good work here today."
Will Power: "It wasn't easy to set a good time in just
four or five laps. But it's been a good start to the weekend."
Andreas Zuber: "Formula Renault 3.5 is a major step up
when you're coming from Formula 3. But the competition is just
as tough in both disciplines. Let's see what happens in the
Jaap Van Lagen: "I'm happy to carry my momentum from the
end of my 2004 season into 2005. I'm also pleased with this
result for the KTR team, who are racing on home ground here."