Rio HaryantoRio Haryanto has taken the Marussia Carlin GP2 Team’s second consecutive pole position in a GP2 qualifying session, at a rain soaked Spa-Francorchamps circuit today. The GP2 rookie was the driver to beat throughout this afternoon’s 30 minute qualifying session, and was quickest from the outset. Team mate Max Chilton, who took pole last time out in Hungary qualified in 13th ahead of tomorrow’s Feature race.

Following torrential rain throughout Friday’s track sessions, conditions had deteriorated even further by the time the drivers took to the track for GP2 qualifying this afternoon. After a short delay of 10 minutes, it was Haryanto who led the drivers onto the track, and the young Indonesian wasted no time in setting an early benchmark to go quickest of all in the first few minutes.

Few drivers managed to get close to the Carlin driver’s time, and with 10 minutes of the session gone, Haryanto was over six tenths of a second quicker than his nearest rival.

Haryanto lost the top spot only briefly, after the drivers emerged from the pits with new wet Pirelli tyres. A handful of drivers including James Calado and Marcus Ericsson briefly went quicker, but Haryanto was able to respond immediately to take back provisional pole.

As the session entered the final minutes, several drivers improved, including Chilton who jumped up to 13th. Haryanto continued to hold the top spot however, and despite the rain falling in the final seconds the Indonesian set his quickest sector two time and the quickest sector three overall on his final flying lap.

At the chequered flag, the 19 year-old remained unbeaten to take his maiden GP2 pole position, and Carlin’s second in as many race weekends. Haryanto also takes four valuable points to add to his 2012 tally.

A delighted Haryanto said, “I’m really pleased with the results today. We were quick from the beginning and I’m very pleased for the team; the car was very nice to drive and I could really feel the grip. I was trying to drive as smoothly as possible and not make any corrections or mistakes. I think we were in the right place at the right time with the second set of tyres. I felt the grip fall away on the first set and I think we stopped at the perfect time to set the quickest lap on the new tyres before the rain started to come again. For sure it’s not going to be easy tomorrow, but I will do my best and we will work hard to have a good strategy. We will see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully it will be wet again!”

The GP2 Feature Race will take place at 15.40 local time tomorrow.

Photo by Daniel Kalisz / GP2 Media Service.