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DATE News (chronologically)
08/26/11
gp3
Valtteri Bottas tops GP3 times in Spa
Bottas
Lotus ART driver Valtteri Bottas shot a warning to his rivals during today’s 45-minute long free practice and proved he will be one to watch at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. The Finn set the pace this morning claiming the top spot with a time of 2:14.546 just 0.280 seconds ahead of MW Arden’s Mitch Evans.

The penultimate round of 2011 GP3 Series™ kicked off this morning under clear blue skies, with newcomer Richie Stanaway setting the first quick lap time for his new team Lotus ART. RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Nigel Melker briefly took the top spot, but as the drivers got to grips with the 7.004 km track it wasn’t long before Bottas showed who’s boss – the Lotus ART driver set his quickest time of the session after fifteen minutes moving 0.946 seconds ahead of Melker.

For the remainder of the session it was clear the rest of the thirty strong field would be fighting for second spot, and Bottas’ teammate James Calado took the honors mid-session until Marussia Manor Racing’s Adrian Quaife-Hobbs split the Lotus ART duo.

With just fifteen left in the session Mitch Evans moved up second spot 0.694 behind Bottas and briefly swapped positions with Calado before the New Zealander completed a 2:14.826 lap, just 0.280 behind Bottas. And then the rain came squashing any hopes for the remainder of the field to catch the leading drivers. The session ended with Bottas on top ahead of Evans, Calado, Quaife-Hobbs, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Melker, Alexander Sims, Simon Trummer, Michael Christensen and Ivan Lukashevich who made it all three Status GP cars in the top ten.

Next up for GP3 is qualifying tomorrow morning at 16:50 local time.

Practice times:

POS NO DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME LAPS GAP
1 2 V. BOTTAS FIN Lotus ART 2:14.546 9 0.000
2 26 M. EVANS NZL MW Arden 2:14.826 12 0.280
3 3 J. CALADO GBR Lotus ART 2:15.093 11 0.547
4 10 A. QUAIFE-HOBBS GBR Marussia Manor Racing 2:15.274 12 0.728
5 5 A. FELIX DA COSTA POR Status Grand Prix 2:15.343 13 0.797
6 31 N. MELKER NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 2:15.492 14 0.946
7 4 A. SIMS GBR Status Grand Prix 2:15.495 14 0.949
8 27 S. TRUMMER SUI MW Arden 2:15.510 14 0.964
9 30 M. CHRISTENSEN DEN RSC Mucke Motorsport 2:15.733 14 1.187
10 6 I. LUKASHEVICH RUS Status Grand Prix 2:15.851 14 1.305
11 12 M. LAINE FIN Marussia Manor Racing 2:15.917 14 1.371
12 28 L. WILLIAMSON GBR MW Arden 2:15.931 17 1.385
13 21 N. YELLOLY GBR Atech CRS GP 2:15.957 8 1.411
14 17 A. VAINIO FIN Tech 1 Racing 2:16.013 13 1.467
15 23 T. DILLMANN FRA Addax Team 2:16.015 13 1.469
16 11 R. HARYANTO INA Marussia Manor Racing 2:16.038 13 1.492
17 20 M. STOCKINGER PHI Atech CRS GP 2:16.203 13 1.657
18 19 T. PAL KISS HUN Tech 1 Racing 2:16.205 13 1.659
19 22 Z. AMBERG SUI Atech CRS GP 2:16.245 16 1.699
20 14 C. DALY USA Carlin 2:16.429 15 1.883
21 1 R. STANAWAY NZL Lotus ART 2:16.453 13 1.907
22 7 N. MULLER SUI Jenzer Motorsport 2:16.614 16 2.068
23 25 D. SMITH GBR Addax Team 2:16.833 11 2.287
24 15 C. MACLEOD GBR Carlin 2:17.002 15 2.456
25 24 G. CHAVES COL Addax Team 2:17.037 15 2.491
26 8 M. ZIMIN RUS Jenzer Motorsport 2:17.044 15 2.498
27 9 A. FONTANA SUI Jenzer Motorsport 2:17.277 17 2.731
28 29 D. MANCINELLI ITA RSC Mucke Motorsport 2:17.385 14 2.839
29 16 L. CORDEIRO BRA Carlin 2:17.524 13 2.978
30 18 T. HYLKEMA NED Tech 1 Racing 2:18.755 12 4.209
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