Niederhauser sets early GP3 pace in Barcelona Swiss driver Patric Niederhauser took first blood in the opening session at Barcelona with a lap time of 1:35.044 which broke the previous track record by over three seconds. Trident’s David Fumanelli and Jenzer Motorsport’s Alex Fontana finished second and third.
The opening round of the 2013 GP3 Series got underway today at the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona with the eagerly anticipated second generation car. Menacing dark clouds hovered over half of the circuit with sunshine looming in the pitlane as free practice begun, signifying the start of the fourth season of the Series.
The sound of the twenty-seven GP3/13 cars roaring down the straight was a glorious sound. Trident’s Emanuele Zonzini was first to feed onto the track. Jack Harvey (ART Grand Prix), Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) were the early pacesetters with Conor Daly (ART Grand Prix) and Fumanelli close in pursuit, lapping in times of 1m36s.
Rookie drivers Josh Webster (Status Grand Prix) and Patrick Kujala (Koiranen GP) both finished their session in the gravel early on, whilst MW Arden’s Daniil Kvyat flew to the top of the timesheets, clocking a best time six tenths faster than Harvey at the midway point.
With less than ten minutes on the clock Swiss Fontana grabbed P1 and further improved on his best lap on his next attempt. However, his Jenzer Motorsport teammate had other ideas and Niederhauser rose to the top of the timings and held the position until the checkered flag. Fumanelli spoiled the Jenzer Motorsport party in the dying moments to split the duo to end P2, just a mere 0.093s off Niederhauser’s best effort.
At the close of the forty-five minute practice session, Niederhauser headed the timings, with Fumanelli, Fontana, Robert Visoiu (MW Arden), Adderly Fong (Status Grand Prix), Kvyat and the Carlin duo of Nick Yelloly and Luis Sa Silva. Harvey and Zonzini completed the top ten.
Qualifying takes place at 09.45 CET tomorrow morning.
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