MW Arden's Williamson leads the way in GP3 testing Lewis Williamson was the fastest man on track at the Hungaroring, after setting the best time of 1:38.330 on day one of official GP3 Series testing.
The GP3 Series teams gathered for the first of two mid-season tests, and were greeted with cool but dry conditions in Hungary. RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Michael Christensen set the benchmark time for the rest of the field this morning, and the Dane topped the time sheets until the mid-way mark when his time was bettered by GP3 rookie and race winner Mitch Evans. The MW Arden driver’s 1:38.508 lap on fresh tires went unbeaten for the remainder of the uninterrupted morning session, with Christensen holding on to second spot. Five hundredths of a second behind in the closely matched session was Nico Müller – just one second covered the top seventeen drivers. Teammates Valtteri Bottas and James Calado showed Lotus ART’s speed by posting the fourth and fifth quickest times respectively.
Despite predictions of rain, by the start of the afternoon session, conditions had improved considerably and the drivers were treated to blue skies above. One of the stories of the 2011 season so far has been the Pirelli tires, and how well the thirty young drivers have been managing their rubber out on track. It was a quiet afternoon as teams worked hard on adjusting their car set-ups and finding a good balance with the new Pirelli P Zero soft slick tires ready for when they make their race debut in Valencia later this month.
It was RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Nigel Melker who was planted firmly at the top of the timesheet for the first half of the afternoon, until Müller took the reins at the half-way marker by just 0.006 seconds in his Jenzer machine. As the session entered its final hour, the drivers started swapping old Pirelli rubber for new, and the inevitable last minute shootout began. Chaves was first to make his move, and snatched the top spot until Williamson put in a flying lap to go quickest. But the Scot didn’t have it all his own way, and with just minutes remaining Marussia Manor Racing’s Adrian Quaife-Hobbs had a briefly spell leading the pack, until Williamson reclaimed the top spot. Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims grabbed second, pushing Quaife-Hobbs into third, and James Calado showed Lotus ART’s speed in fourth. Tom Dillmann did a good job on his GP3 return finishing the session in fifth, with Antonio Felix Da Costa, Michael Christensen, Nigel Melker, Bottas and Aaro Vainio rounding out the top ten.
GP3 Series will be back on track tomorrow for the second and final day of testing at Hungaroring.
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