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Atlantic female makes GP2 debut
Pastor Maldonado has set the pace on the third afternoon of GP2 Series testing at Circuit Paul Ricard. The Venezuelan who is making his return to the GP2 Series this week after recovering from a broken collar bone which had ruled him out of the final races of the 2007 season, set a best time of 1:13.094 to beat Mike Conway who was testing today for Minardi Piquet Sports by just over a tenth of a second.

Third fastest in the afternoon was Luca Filippi who had another impressive day, this time for Racing Engineering. Ben Hanley was the fastest of the rookies, taking fourth for Minardi Piquet Sports on his first full day of this test. This morning's fastest driver Andi Zuber was fifth fastest in the afternoon and will team up with Luca Filippi tomorrow at Super Nova International, the team which holds the track record on this "3D" circuit layout.

There was much attention this afternoon on the #25 Campos Grand Prix car as Champ Car Atlantic graduate Simona De Silvestro became the first female driver to take part in an official GP2 Series session. She acquitted herself well to her new surroundings, posting a fastest lap of 1:15.049 to finish 22nd, just 1.5 seconds behind her team-mate for the afternoon, Valencia race winner Vitaly Petrov.

Tomorrow will see the end of this four day test, and a moment of some sadness as it will be the final time that the base car with which the series was launched in 2005 and subsequently developed over the past three years, will drive in Europe before the new GP2 / 08 is launched. The day will be an ultimately thrilling encounter however as it will be the final chance for drivers to impress before testing begins for the GP2 Asia Series.


Driver Team Time Laps
1 Pastor Maldonado ART Grand Prix 1:13.094 34
2 Mike Conway Minardi Piquet Sports 1:13.203 29
3 Luca Filippi Racing Engineering 1:13.226 39
4 Ben Hanley Minardi Piquet Sports 1:13.236 34
5 Andreas Zuber FMS International 1:13.367 31
6 Borja Garcia iSport International 1:13.415 20
7 Vitaly Petrov Campos Grand Prix 1:13.586 33
8 Karun Chandhok DPR 1:13.615 24
9 Marcos Martinez Racing Engineering 1:13.638 32
10 Giedo Van Der Garde DAMS 1:13.724 24
11 Kamui Kobayashi DAMS 1:13.759 36
12 Christian Bakkerud Super Nova International 1:13.809 58
13 Yelmer Buurman ART Grand Prix 1:13.831 36
14 Adrian Zaugg DPR 1:13.852 43
15 Davide Valsecchi iSport International 1:13.899 36
16 Michael Herck Trident Racing 1:14.149 35
17 Celso Miguez Durango 1:14.291 36
18 Dani Clos BCN Competicion 1:14.327 31
19 Davide Rigon FMS International 1:14.477 26
20 Adam Khan Arden International 1:14.627 34
21 Giacomo Piccini Durango 1:14.876 37
22 Simona De Silvestro Campos Grand Prix 1:15.049 59
23 Recardo Bruins Choi Arden International 1:15.170 29
24 Chris Van Der Drift Trident Racing 1:15.230 17
25 Stephen Jelley Super Nova International 1:15.320 33
26 Vladimir Arabadzhiev BCN Competicion 1:15.472 32

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