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Michael Herck ends on top
For the last day of 2011 pre-season testing in Barcelona today, the thirteen teams of the GP2 paddock were greeted by a dry track. As the morning session opened, it was Lotus ART’s Jules Bianchi on new tires who set the early pace. But the Frenchman would not stay in control of the timing sheet for too long as Team AirAsia’s Luiz Razia bettered Bianchi’s lap time by 0.08s while Charles Pic slipped into P3 for Barwa Addax.

The first hour of the session started to look like a qualifying session as yesterday’s fastest man Davide Valsecchi claimed the top spot in the following lap going three tenths faster than his teammate. While the Italian’s lap time stayed unbeaten, the remainder of the field fought tooth and nail to make their way up the timesheet. Carlin’s Oliver Turvey found some extra pace in the third sector which put him in P2 as Scuderia Coloni’s Michael Herck moved to P3. Just before the one hour mark, a red flag - caused by Julian Leal - stopped the proceedings after the Rapax man went off the track at Turn 12.

When the session resumed, Dams’ Romain Grosjean put his head down to move up to P3, but as Davide Rigon completed a lap good enough to put him on P2, his teammate at Scuderia Coloni Herck improved his personal best and went top, 0.06s ahead of Valsecchi. Sam Bird’s efforts to better the Romanian’s lap time fell short by 0.02s. Grosjean managed to slip into P3 six hundredths slower than the iSport driver. One last red flag stopped the session with one minute left on the clock. The first eighteen drivers finished within the same second.

The afternoon session saw Racing Engineering’s Christian Vietoris make his way to the top of the timesheet until Marcus Ericsson at iSport improved the German’s lap time by 1.9s. GP3 Series Champion Esteban Gutierrez was the first to get closer to the Swede, moving up to P2 with a lap time half a second slower than Ericsson’s. Bianchi was then on a mission, but failed to claim the top spot by 0.2s. On his following lap, the Frenchman improved on every sector and took control of the timesheet. In the final hour of the session, Valsecchi reclaimed the title of fastest man clocking in a lap time three tenths quicker than Bianchi. Rigon proved Scuderia Coloni’s good form by edging the Lotus ART racer out of P2. The session was briefly red flagged three times in the last thirty minutes.

This concluded the 2011 pre-season testing. The seventh season of the GP2 Series will open in Istanbul on May 6-7-8.

Morning session
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:29.608 34
2. Sam Bird iSport International 1:29.633 20
3. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:29.639 31
4. Davide Valsecchi Team Air Asia 1:29.669 38
5. Luca Filippi Super Nova Racing 1:29.697 34
6. Davide Rigon Scuderia Coloni 1:29.754 32
7. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1:29.805 30
8. Oliver Turvey Carlin 1:29.860 31
9. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:29.970 47
10. Max Chilton Carlin 1:29.973 32
11. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:29.983 33
12. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:29.993 24
13. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:30.051 26
14. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:30.052 38
15. Josef Kral Arden International 1:30.123 29
16. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:30.264 35
17. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:30.376 24
18. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:30.405 28
19. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:30.640 28
20. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:30.649 23
21. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:30.679 34
22. Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology 1:30.772 22
23. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:30.847 27
24. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:30.994 32
25. Kevin Mirocha Ocean Racing Technology 1:31.096 22
26. Julian Leal Rapax 1:32.743 14

Afternoon Session
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:30.316 35
2. Davide Rigon Scuderia Coloni 1:30.591 26
3. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:30.675 38
4. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:30.810 35
5. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:31.179 32
6. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:31.184 38
7. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:31.243 33
8. Julian Leal Rapax 1:31.254 31
9. Kevin Mirocha Ocean Racing Technology 1:31.483 32
10. Luca Filippi Super Nova Racing 1:31.738 23
11. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:31.786 26
12. Max Chilton Carlin 1:32.120 41
13. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1:32.750 33
14. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:33.478 42
15. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:33.505 28
16. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:33.536 36
17. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:33.673 39
18. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:33.863 31
19. Oliver Turvey Carlin 1:33.868 31
20. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:33.905 36
21. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:34.038 40
22. Josef Kral Arden International 1:34.097 37
23. Sam Bird iSport International 1:34.152 43
24. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:34.195 30
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