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DATE News (chronologically)
03/29/11
gp3
American Rookie Gabby Chaves tops day one at Silverstone  
Gabby Chaves
Addax Team’s rookie Gabby Chaves was the fastest man out on track today, after setting the best time of 1:51.449 on day one of official GP3 Series testing at Silverstone Circuit.

The GP3 Series teams gathered for the second of three pre-season tests, and were greeted with dry and sunny conditions this morning in Northamptonshire. Status Grand Prix was first to take to the track, with Antonio Felix Da Costa setting the benchmark time for the rest of the field. The Portuguese driver topped the time sheets until his lap time was bettered at the two-hour mark by reigning champions Lotus ART and newcomer Valtteri Bottas.

The remainder of the session was relatively quiet for the thirty strong young guns, until a final ten minute dash, which saw the Finn improve his personal best time with a 1:51.608 lap ahead of MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson and Simon Trummer. Any hope the rest of the field had of a last minute fight for the top spot were dashed when a red flag caused by Adrian Quaife-Hobbs thirty seconds from the end of the session halted proceedings. The checkered flag was shown and the top final top ten was set: Bottas, Williamson, Melker, Trummer, Muller, Costa, Quaife-Hobbs, Stockinger, Calado and Nunes.

After a rain-affected test in France just over three weeks ago the teams were no doubt hoping for a dry day of running today, but by the time the lights turned green in the afternoon the weather had turned with clouds appearing overhead. Sophomore driver Nico Mller was the early pace setter for Jenzer with a lap time of 1:51.596, while Chaves, Quaife-Hobbs, Williamson and rookie James Calado rounded out the top five.

However, shortly after the second red flag of the day – caused by MW Arden’s Mitch Evans – it was rookie Chaves who laid down the gauntlet to the rest of the field. The young American lapped the track two thousandths of a second quicker than the pole time set by Champion Esteban Gutièrrez in 2010. However, the arrival of rain meant the American’s lap time was to go unchallenged as the rest of the afternoon was run under damp conditions. There was one final red flag of the afternoon caused by Carlin’s rookie Kotaro Sakurai.

The test will continue tomorrow at 09:00 am local time.

Full morning session times:

POS NO. NAME NAT ENTRY TIME LAPS
1 2 Valtteri BOTTAS FIN Lotus ART 1:51.608 32
2 28 Lewis WILLIAMSON GBR MW Arden 1:51.688 31
3 31 Nigel MELKER NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:51.755 28
4 27 Simon TRUMMER SUI MW Arden 1:51.801 26
5 7 Nico MULLER SUI Jenzer Motorsport 1:51.816 26
6 5 Antonio Felix Da COSTA POR Status Grand Prix 1:51.821 41
7 10 Adrian QUAIFE-HOBBS GBR Marussia Manor Racing 1:51.920 20
8 20 Marlon STOCKINGER PHI Atech CRS GP 1:52.017 27
9 3 James CALADO GBR Lotus ART 1:52.025 33
10 1 Pedro NUNES BRA Lotus ART 1:52.053 34
11 30 Michael CHRISTENSEN DEN RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:52.213 35
12 11 Rio HARYANTO INA Marussia Manor Racing 1:52.348 25
13 21 Nick YELLOLY GBR Atech CRS GP 1:52.422 18
14 26 Mitch EVANS NZL MW Arden 1:52.505 32
15 4 Alexander SIMS GBR Status Grand Prix 1:52.510 25
16 19 Tamas PAL KISS HUN Tech 1 Racing 1:52.518 30
17 17 Aaro VAINIO FIN Tech 1 Racing 1:52.556 25
18 24 Gabby CHAVES USA Addax Team 1:52.563 28
19 14 Conor DALY USA Carlin 1:52.777 33
20 12 Matias LAINE FIN Marussia Manor Racing 1:52.794 34
21 18 Andrea CALDARELLI ITA Tech 1 Racing 1:52.803 34
22 9 Vittorio GHIRELLI ITA Jenzer Motorsport 1:52.935 31
23 29 Willi STEINDL AUT RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:52.955 32
24 16 Kotaro SAKURAI JPN Carlin 1:53.009 28
25 22 Zoel AMBURG SUI Atech CRS GP 1:53.315 38
26 8 Maxim ZIMIN RUS Jenzer Motorsport 1:53.490 27
27 23 Thomas HYLKEMA NED Addax Team 1:53.563 40
28 15 Tom DILLMANN FRA Carlin 1:53.858 31
29 6 Ivan LUKASHEVICH RUS Status Grand Prix 1:54.344 36
30 25 Fernando MONJE ESP Addax Team 1:54.504 35

Full afternoon session times:

POS NO NAME NAT ENTRY TIME LAPS
1 24 Gabby CHAVES USA Addax Team 1:51.449 22
2 7 Nico MULLER SUI Jenzer Motorsport 1:51.596 19
3 28 Lewis WILLIAMSON GBR MW Arden 1:51.641 27
4 4 Alexander SIMS GBR Status Grand Prix 1:51.752 24
5 20 Marlon STOCKINGER PHI Atech CRS GP 1:51.775 11
6 10 Adrian QUAIFE-HOBBS GBR Marussia Manor Racing 1:51.981 28
7 9 Vittorio GHIRELLI ITA Jenzer Motorsport 1:52.328 26
8 11 Rio HARYANTO INA Marussia Manor Racing 1:52.472 30
9 27 Simon TRUMMER SUI MW Arden 1:52.538 24
10 15 Tom DILLMANN FRA Carlin 1:52.557 19
11 26 Mitch EVANS NZL MW Arden 1:52.741 22
12 30 Michael CHRISTENSEN DEN RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:52.770 25
13 3 James CALADO GBR Lotus ART 1:52.886 29
14 5 Antonio Felix Da COSTA POR Status Grand Prix 1:52.940 23
15 25 Fernando MONJE ESP Addax Team 1:52.976 22
16 1 Pedro NUNES BRA Lotus ART 1:53.021 30
17 23 Thomas HYLKEMA NED Addax Team 1:53.081 18
18 12 Matias LAINE FIN Marussia Manor Racing 1:53.214 23
19 2 Valtteri BOTTAS FIN Lotus ART 1:53.249 31
20 17 Aaro VAINIO FIN Tech 1 Racing 1:53.263 19
21 8 Maxim ZIMIN RUS Jenzer Motorsport 1:53.436 24
22 22 Zoel AMBERG SUI Atech CRS GP 1:53.682 24
23 29 Willi STEINDL AUT RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:53.803 27
24 19 Tamas PAL KISS HUN Tech 1 Racing 1:53.895 27
25 16 Kotaro SAKURAI JPN Carlin 1:53.941 11
26 18 Andrea CALDARELLI ITA Tech 1 Racing 1:53.980 21
27 31 Nigel MELKER NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:53.989 27
28 14 Conor DALY USA Carlin 1:54.967 15
29 21 Nick YELLOLY GBR Atech CRS GP 1:55.075 20
30 6 Ivan LUKASHEVICH RUS Status Grand Prix 1:59.785 19
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