Tambay tops wet GP3 practice The first GP3 session of the weekend was delayed by over thirty minutes after an eventful GP2 qualifying session ran long. Torrential downpours all weekend meant that all thirty GP3 cars hit the track with wet weather tires for just the second time this season putting their rain skills to the test.
On his first flying lap of the session Series leader Esteban Gutierrez set the pace for ART Grand Prix, closely followed by Tambay and teammate Adrian Quaife-Hobbs. Antonio Felix da Costa was also quick in the first half of the session for Carlin, and all three Jenzer Motorsport drivers were up in the top ten including Simon Trummer – the Swiss driver making an impressive comeback after missing two rounds.
By the midway point in the session Gutierrez was still leading the way – the Mexican was four tenths quicker than Tambay. Quaife-Hobbs was hanging on to third spot ahead of Muller, and Nigel Melker had found his rhythm joining the front runners in fifth for RSC Mucke Motorsport. With ten minutes remaining Leonardo Cordiero posted the sixth quickest time for MW Arden, and Robert Wickens was quick to answer pushing him down in to seventh, ahead of Atech CRS GP’s Roberto Merhi.
In the final few minutes of the session it was all about negotiating the heavy fog which was causing tricky conditions for the GP3 field. Muller found his way through and posted a lap nearly five tenths quicker than current fastest man Gutierrez. Tambay was quick to respond, knocking another half a second off the Swiss drivers’ time, and neither Muller nor Gutierrez could respond before the checkered flag dropped.
And so it ended, with Tambay on top, Muller second and Gutierrez third. Quaife-Hobbs stayed on the pace all session, finishing in fourth spot ahead of Nigel Melker in fifth. Roberto Merhi posted the sixth quickest time ahead of Trummer. Miki Monras popped up into eighth for MW Arden ahead of the young Vittorio Ghirelli for Atech CRS GP, and Cordiero rounded out the top ten.
The action continues tomorrow morning with qualifying at 08:45 local time for what is looking likely to be another wet session.
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