Mitch Evans second in Monaco GP2 qualifying

DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Last updated 09:50 24/05/2013

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New Zealand's Mitch Evans will start on the front row after qualifying second-fastest for tonight's GP2 race on the streets of Monaco.

Evans was pipped by just 0.016sec from taking pole position at motor racing's most famous street race.

Evans' team mate Johnny Cecotto Jr ensured an Arden International shut-out by starting round four of the GP2 series from pole.

The qualifying sessions were split in two, for odd- and even-numbered cars, to avoid crashes that have occurred in recent years with all 26 cars on track together. The change meant drivers only had 15 minutes to set their times, and had just one run on the Pirelli super-soft tyres.

The qualifying result is a major boost for Evans who has struggled at the last two meetings with poor practice and qualifying sessions.

With the cars incredibly equal and Monaco not throwing up too many passing opportunities, Evans has his best chance to get back in the points.

Evans fronted a media conference after qualifying and couldn't hide his delight at being on the pace again, though he felt he could have done even better.

"I am very happy," he said.

"To be honest I am slightly disappointed though because we made a few set up changes that did not work and the car was very tricky to drive. So I am happy to put it on the front row, but my lap was not amazing.

"It's a very good result for the team especially after the past two races. I can't really complain for that because it's what the team was needing and wanting. We managed a good step forward from Barcelona, but this track here is very unique.

"I hope we can continue the pace for the next races ... hopefully we can have a good run, a clean start.

"Right now, I'm going to focus on that and see what happens from there."

Evans admitted it was an interesting situation having his team-mate alongside him on the starting grid.

"We are going to treat it like we're not in the same team because we both want to win the race and obviously whoever is going to get out of turn one first makes it pretty crucial for the strategy and the pitstop," he said.

"We have not discussed it too much yet. We'll see what happens in the race and the team will probably make a decision then.

"At the moment, I just need to focus on the start and hopefully get past him. But you never know what could happen. It's nice to have both cars at the front. They're working really, really well.

"It's good that Johnny and I could put both cars on the front row because it's very good for the team."

GP2 Series 4

Monaco Qualifying

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Driver Team Time

1. Johnny Cecotto Jr Arden 1m 21.141s Group A

2. Mitch Evans Arden 1m 21.157s Group B

3. Sam Bird Russian Time 1m 21.509s Group A

4. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m 21.185s Group B

5. Kevin Ceccon Trident 1m 21.986s Group A

6. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1m 21.198s Group B

7. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1m 22.092s Group A

8. Tom Dillmann Russian Time 1m 21.387s Group B

9. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1m 22.163s Group A

10. Robin Frijns Hilmer 1m 21.418s Group B

- © Fairfax NZ News

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