Soucek tops Barcelona test day
Andy Soucek finished the official Formula Two test day at the top of the timesheets today (Monday 26 October) having set a blistering 1:38.910s lap time at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The Spaniard ran in the top five for most of the day but he left it until the final ten minutes of the final session to set his unbeatable benchmark time. The champion’s effort relegated Miloš Pavlović down to second after the Serbian had held top spot for much of the final hour.
Robert Wickens attacked Soucek's time in the final moments and set his fastest lap of the day on his final tour of the 2.9 mile Grand Prix circuit. The Canadian fell short of the ultimate pace but he set an impressive time on his seventh lap on new tires, which left him third overall.
Julien Jousse ended up fourth having set the pace during the morning sessions, whilst Mikhail Aleshin improved late on to take fifth. The Russian recovered well following two spins earlier in the day and his effort was good enough to relegate Philipp Eng down to sixth.
Debutant Tristan Vautier remained the star of the show however, as the young Frenchman finished every session inside the top ten. The 20-year-old, who has won six Formula Palmer Audi races this year, settled for an impressive seventh at the end of the day. Kazim Vasiliauskas and Mirko Bortolotti were eighth and ninth, while Jason Moore rounded out the top ten after a productive day of set-up work for the Briton.
Nicola De Marco was just outside the top ten and double race winner Tobias Hegewald had to settle for 12th. Jolyon Palmer moved up the order late on to claim 13th ahead of Sebastian Hohenthal.
Andy Soucek said: "I knew we had good pace but I wasn't expecting to be that fast. I am still really fired up for this weekend - people are maybe expecting me to just relax and take it easy but I want to win both races for the first time. There is a lot of work to do, but I am fully focused on taking each session as it comes later in the week."
Robert Wickens said: "I have had a really good day. We have accomplished everything and more in terms of our test program and I am feeling really confident for the weekend. My best lap was set on the seventh lap with those tires and I didn't use the boost so things are looking good for the weekend."
FIA Formula Two Championship - Test Day, Barcelona - Final Session:
1. Andy Soucek, 1:38.910s
2. Miloš Pavlović, +0.304s
3. Robert Wickens, +0.337s
4. Julien Jousse, +0.399s
5. Mikhail Aleshin, +0.440s
6. Philipp Eng, +0.565s
7. Tristan Vautier, +0.584s
8. Kazim Vasiliauskas, +0.698s
9. Mirko Bortolotti, +0.743s
10. Jason Moore, +1.036s