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.
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