Christian Vietoris claimed pole position by a massive 1.4sec in a wet GP2 qualifying session at Spa on Friday.
The Racing Engineering driver was the early pacesetter in the session, and he remained in the thick of the fight for pole throughout. In the final minute of qualifying, he knocked Luca Filippi (Coloni) off the top spot, but his pole position could be in doubt as yellow flags were waving at Blanchimont when he set his fastest lap.
Those flags were out for Addax's Charles Pic, who had pulled over and stopped on the exit of the left-hander. The Frenchman ended the session with the third-fastest time.
ART driver Jules Bianchi recovered from a low-speed spin at Les Combes to complete the second row of the grid, while Coloni's Michael Herck continued his good form from practice to take fifth, having been a factor at the front throughout qualifying.
Marcus Ericsson (iSport) and Adam Carroll (Super Nova) were next up, with championship leader Romain Grosjean – who could clinch the title this weekend – only eighth for DAMS as he struggled to get a clear lap when the track improved in the second half of the session.
He is still ahead of his main title challenger, though, as Giedo van der Garde (Addax) could only manage 11th on the grid. If Grosjean can extend his points lead over the Dutchman by two points on Saturday, he will seal the title.
Of 2011's usual front runners, Sam Bird had the worst session. The iSport driver had a similar spin to Bianchi's at Les Combes, but unlike the Frenchman he could not avoid contact with the barrier and will start 22nd.
Pos Driver Team Time
1. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 2m18.345s
2. Luca Filippi Coloni 2m19.779s
3. Charles Pic Addax 2m20.056s
4. Jules Bianchi ART 2m20.211s
5. Michael Herck Coloni 2m20.748s
6. Marcus Ericsson iSport 2m20.858s
7. Adam Carroll Super Nova 2m21.491s
8. Romain Grosjean DAMS 2m21.715s
9. Johnny Cecotto Ocean 2m21.753s
10. Esteban Gutierrez ART 2m21.877s
11. Giedo van der Garde Addax 2m21.956s
12. Brendon Hartley Ocean 2m22.145s
13. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 2m22.254s
14. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova 2m22.299s
15. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 2m22.326s
16. Josef Kral Arden 2m22.346s
17. Max Chilton Carlin 2m22.573s
18. Fabio Leimer Rapax 2m22.623s
19. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident 2m22.655s
20. Luiz Razia AirAsia 2m22.895s
21. Davide Valsecchi AirAsia 2m23.364s
22. Sam Bird iSport 2m23.365s
23. Jolyon Palmer Arden 2m23.495s
24. Pal Varhaug DAMS 2m23.830s
25. Stefano Coletti Trident 2m24.272s
26. Julian Leal Rapax 2m24.832s