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DATE News (chronologically)
03/12/12
gp3
Mitch Evans fastest in opening day of Barcelona GP3 test
Mitch Evans
GP3 Series testing resumed in Barcelona at the Circuit de Catalunya for the second official pre-season test of 2012. There were six new faces on show: Carmen Jorda (Ocean Racing Technology), Kotaro Sakurai (Status Grand Prix), Tom Blomqvist (Status Grand Prix), Kevin Ceccon (Trident Racing) and John Wartique (Atech CRS GP). Carlos Sainz Junior stepped in at Lotus GP for Aaro Vainio who will return to action on day two of the test.

MW Arden Ace Mitch Evans posted the fastest time of day with a lap time of 1:38.609, just ahead of Cypriot Tio Ellinas and Daniel Abt in the morning session. It was the German who then went quickest in the afternoon, with times slower compared to the earlier part of the day, until the dying moments of the test.

Temperatures were cool as the test got underway in Spain and it was new signing Robert Cregan who initially led the timesheets. However, the Irishman ran wide in turn 9 later on and ended up in the gravel bed, thus causing a red flag. Trident Racing’s Kevin Ceccon then went quickest with a 1:40.172 ahead of Patric Niederhauser. Matias Laine went top until Abt became the first man to break into the 1.38s barrier. After the first hour, the Lotus GP driver had an advantage of 0.4s over the Finn.

A second red flag brought a halt to proceedings after Blomqvist paid a visit to the gravel trap after his first lap out on new tires. When the session resumed, Evans charged to the head of the timings with a lap of 1:38.609 which was 0.1s faster than the German. There was another stoppage in the morning after Fabiano Machado spun into the gravel at turn 8 and caused a third red flag. Tio Ellinas jumped up to P2 and was 0.124s off Evans best lap of 1:38.609 at the midway point of the session. The positions then remained fairly settled in the final hour with Abt in third ahead of David Fumanelli, Tamas Pal Kiss, Antonio Felix Da Costa and Laine. Ceccon, Niederhauser and Maxim Zimin completed the top ten.

The afternoon session was run in beautiful warm sunshine and it was Abt who set the early pace with a time of 1:39.343 ahead of fellow Lotus GP driver Sainz Jnr. There was another break in proceedings at the midpoint of the afternoon when Evans spun exiting turn 8 and the red flag came out.

In the final thirty minutes the track came alive as positions were swapping throughout the field. Marussia Manor Racing’s Ellinas shot to P1, 0.1s faster than Abt and then Sainz Jnr and Ceccon pushed the Cypriot down to P3. With fifteen minutes to go, MW Arden’s Laine went top, a mere 0.073s quicker than the Spanish rookie, until Abt regained his place at the top of the timesheets with less than five minutes on the clock. Final top ten was Abt, Laine, Ellinas, Sainz Jnr, Ceccon, Blomqvist, Fumanelli, Niederhauser, Conor Daly and Antonio Felix Da Costa.

The session was red flagged in the final moments after the Italian Ceccon spun into turn 4 and therefore the test was brought to a close as time had run out to continue.

The schedule for day two of the test is 09.00 – 12.00, with a one hour lunch break. The afternoon action will resume at 13.00 – 16.00

Morning session

Pos Driver Team Lap time Laps
1. Mitch Evans MW Arden 1:38.609 17
2. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:38.733 15
3. Daniel Abt Lotus GP 1:38.799 30
4. David Fumanelli MW Arden 1:38.944 26
5. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS GP 1:39.075 16
6. Antonio Felix Da Costa Carlin 1:39.105 37
7. Matias Laine MW Arden 1:39.199 9
8. Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 1:39.211 38
9. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.231 26
10. Maxim Zimin Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.271 35
11. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:39.340 28
12. Carlos Sainz Jnr Lotus GP 1:39.470 32
13. Conor Daly Lotus GP 1:39.615 29
14. Robert Visoiu Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.649 24
15. Tom Blomqvist Status Grand Prix 1:39.826 23
16. Alex Brundle Carlin 1:40.083 23
17. Antonio Spavone Trident Racing 1:40.109 32
18. William Buller Carlin 1:40.589 24
19. Dmitry Suranovich Marussia Manor Racing 1:40.760 26
20. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS GP 1:41.013 26
21. Fabiano Machado Marussia Manor Racing 1:41.027 27
22. Kotaro Sakurai Status Grand Prix 1:41.137 26
23. Vicky Piria Trident Racing 1:41.434 33
24. Robert Cregan Ocean Racing Technology 1:42.162 23
25. John Wartique Atech CRS GP 1:43.695 22
26. Carmen Jorda Ocean Racing Technology 1:44.012 22


Afternoon Session

Pos Driver Team Lap time Laps
1. Daniel Abt Lotus GP 1:38.876 24
2. Matias Laine MW Arden 1:39.014 27
3. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:39.079 29
4. Carlos Sainz Jnr Lotus GP 1:39.087 28
5. Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 1:39.102 29
6. Tom Blomqvist Status Grand Prix 1:39.139 25
7. David Fumanelli MW Arden 1:39.214 30
8. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.298 32
9. Conor Daly Lotus GP 1:39.320 33
10. Antonio Felix Da Costa Carlin 1:39.330 35
11. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS GP 1:39.398 15
12. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:39.582 23
13. Antonio Spavone Trident Racing 1:39.747 45
14. Robert Visoiu Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.792 28
15. Mitch Evans MW Arden 1:39.849 21
16. Alex Brundle Carlin 1:39.898 48
17. Fabiano Machado Marussia Manor Racing 1:40.107 42
18. Maxim Zimin Jenzer Motorsport 1:40.224 20
19. Vicky Piria Trident Racing 1:40.516. 28
20. Kotaro Sakurai Status Grand Prix 1:40.541 12
21. Dmitry Suranovich Marussia Manor Racing 1:40.731 34
22. Robert Cregan Ocean Racing Technology 1:40.951 26
23. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS GP 1:41.059 26
24. William Buller Carlin 1:41.154 24
25. John Wartique Atech CRS GP 1:42.781 19
26. Carmen Jorda Ocean Racing Technology 1:44.009 35
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