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Wickens tops GP3 testing
Robert Wickens
Status GP’s Robert Wickens improved on his performance this morning by posting the fastest lap time during this afternoon’s test session at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. The session was dry and bright providing ideal conditions for the thirty young drivers. Wickens led the pack posting a time of 1:27.881, the Canadian snatching the top spot in the dying minutes of the session on fresh rubber. The Status driver was quickly followed by Tech 1 Racing’s Jean Eric Vergne, the Frenchman making a triumphant return to the Series finishing in second. In third spot was ART Grand Prix’s Esteban Gutierrez, the Mexican posting a time of 1:28.163. Fourth was RSC Mucke Motorsport’s Nigel Melker followed by Manor’s James Jakes. Jenzer Motorsport’s Simon Trummer finished the session in sixth spot and an impressive performance by Tech 1 Racing’s Doru Sechelariu saw the young Romanian take seventh spot. Eighth was Carlin’s Dean Smith, ninth Addax Team’s Felipe Guimaraes, and rounding out the top ten was Jenzer Motorsport’s Nico Muller.

The session was marred by a splattering of red flags. GP3 new guy Emmanuel Piget stop on track in his #27 Tech 1 Racing car early in the session, whilst his teammate Jean Eric Vergne caused the second red flag of the afternoon by stopping in the pit lane exit. The third and final red flag was caused by a spinning Lucas Foresti in his #16 Carlin car.    A total of 2037 laps were completed during the first day of testing.   

Robert Wickens, Status Grand Prix: “Overall went really well. We had hardly any mechanical issues and any we did just needed a quick fix and we were back on track so we got through our test plan. We were just trying new different things and I think we are already ahead of the game. Reliability was also very good today.”  Jen-Eric Vergne, Tech 1 Racing: “We worked a lot today on the car and it’s much better than this morning but we still have a lot to work to do. It’s especially great for the team, they work hard and it’s the first time we have been P2. This morning was difficult because we had a couple of problems which meant we couldn’t make the most of the new tyres, but overall it’s a positive day. We can now use tomorrow to prepare for the race next week.” Esteban Gutierrez, ART Grand Prix: “The morning session we were testing a few different things and the conditions changed a lot from the morning to the afternoon and we didn’t really get a lot of running this morning. It was a really positive day. We weren’t the quickest, but it’s not always like this and we are using the test to try different things and improve the car in the long term and for the race next week back in Valencia.”  The test resumes at 09:00 am local time tomorrow.
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