Pantano to start near back of grid
GP2 champion Giorgio Pantano will start his first Superleague Formula race for AC Milan near the back of the grid after a gearbox problem ruined his qualifying session.
Pantano could only complete a slow lap when the steering wheel-mounted gearshift system on his Azerti-run Elan-MCT failed to operate properly.
"The system was just not working at all," he told AUTOSPORT. "There was nothing I could do. That's going to make it tough for me in the races tomorrow."
Pantano even understeered off at the Adelaide hairpin on his best lap, as he unsuccessfully tried to downshift.
He will start tomorrow's opening round from 16th on the 18-car grid, a huge disappointment after he had set the fastest time in the final free practice 'rookie' session.
Pantano only starts ahead of AS Roma, because he was in the faster of the split qualifying sessions, and FC Midtjylland after the Hitech car of Kasper Anderson was thrown out of qualifying for not being able to start his quarter-final shoot-out lap.