Esteban Gutiérrez fastest in GP3 practice Esteban Gutiérrez showed his determination to claim the inaugural GP3 Series crown, topping the time sheets in this afternoon’s practice session at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza ahead of Carlin’s Josef Newgarden and Jenzer’s Nico Müller.
In soaring 27 degree heat, the GP3 Series took to the track for the final practice session of the 2010 season, and it was local man Mirko Bortolotti who led the way in his #19 Addax Team car – the Italian no doubt spurred on the ever enthusiastic Tifosi. Renger van der Zande, Michael Christensen, Dean Smith and Series contender Robert Wickens joined the Addax driver at the top of the time sheets during the first part of the session.
It wasn’t until the final ten minutes of the session that Gutiérrez showed his true speed around the legendary track posting the quickest time of the session so far. The ART Grand Prix driver was momentarily knocked off the top spot by flying Dutchman Nigel Melker in his #10 RSC Mucke Motorsport car, but on his ninth lap of the 5.793km track the Mexican set a time of 1:44.331 that was not to be bettered.
As the times started to drop the top ten positions changed continually except for Gutiérrez. It was eventually Josef Newgarden who snatched second spot in the session from Nico Müller – both drivers were quick all session. Müller’s teammate Simon Trummer was close behind in fourth, and Newgarden’s teammate Smith was fifth with a strong showing for Carlin. Bortolotti ended up sixth at his home track. Daniel Juncadella, Nigel Melker and James Jakes rounded out the top ten. Championship contender Wickens crossed the line just outside the top ten in twelfth. At the end of the session the top fourteen drivers were within one second, showing what an exciting qualifying session is to come tomorrow.
The action continues tomorrow morning with qualifying at 08:45 local time.
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