Fukuzumi fastest on day 1 of GP3 test in Yas Marina

Nirei Fukuzumi
Nirei Fukuzumi

Honda protege Nirei Fukuzumi posted the quickest time in both the morning and afternoon session on day one of post-season testing at the Yas Marina Circuit. The ART Grand Prix driver’s best time was set in the afternoon with a 1:55.479. Jack Aitken (testing for French squad ART GP) was second quickest in both sessions.

Following the conclusion of the 2016 GP3 Series season, the teams embarked on a three day post-season test in Abu Dhabi. Fukuzumi was first into the 1m56’s ahead of Aitken. Jenzer Motorsport’s Alessio Lorandi then headed the timings, with Aitken lapping a mere 0.001s slower than the Italian.

DAMS’ Santino Ferrucci then picked up the pace to lead the pack before there was a red flag due a signaling issue along with Arjun Maini – testing for Trident, stopped on track. There was a second interruption to proceedings at Turn 7 as there was debris on track.

Once the action resumed, Fukuzumi lapped second fastest before Aitken displaced the Japanese driver. Maini then shot up to P2, posting a time a tenth off the American driver. Trident and Ferrari Driver Academy’s Giuliano Alesi then leapt up the order to set the quickest time of the session before Fukuzumi returned to the top of the timesheet.

As the clock ticked down, Fukuzumi increased his advantage over the field to half a second with Aitken and George Russell (also testing for the reigning Team Champions) making it an ART one-two-three until Maini rose to third in the latter moments.

Fukuzumi bettered his personal best by dipping into the 1m55’s to retain P1 at the checkered flag. Aitken, Maini, Russell, Alesi, Niko Kari (Arden), Santino Ferrucci, Steijn Schothorst (DAMS), Lorandi and Ryan Tveter (Trident) completed the top ten.

Following the break in action, the GP3 drivers returned to the track for the afternoon session. Lorandi set the initial pace before Alesi demoted the Jenzer driver to P2 after thirty minutes. Ferrucci then shot to the top of the timesheet and bettered his own personal best a lap later as he broke into the 1m56’s.

Marcos Siebert went second fastest before Koiranen GP’s Patricio O’Ward took P2 from the Jenzer tester. Honda’s Fukuzumi returned to his sparkling morning form shooting to the head of the timings, three hundredths quicker than Ferrucci.

Meanwhile the ART duo of Russell and Aitken moved up to second and third respectively before a brief red flag period when Kari stopped at Turn 1. Fukuzumi retained P1 at the checkered flag, ahead of Aitken, Russell, Maini, Ferrucci, Lorandi, Raoul Hyman, Alesi, Schothorst and Tveter.

Day One – morning session

Pos

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Nirei Fukuzumi

ART Grand Prix

1:55.853

24

2.

Jack Aitken

ART Grand Prix

1:56.408

23

3.

Arjun Maini

Trident

1:56.460

22

4.

George Russell

ART Grand Prix

1:56.522

24

5.

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

1:56.550

21

6.

Niko Kari

Arden International

1:56.588

33

7.

Santino Ferrucci

DAMS

1:56.726

15

8.

Steijn Schothorst

DAMS

1:56.793

22

9.

Alessio Lorandi

Jenzer Motorsport

1:56.841

21

10.

Ryan Tveter

Trident

1:57.048

24

11.

Matheus Leist

Arden International

1:57.279

27

12.

Raoul Hyman

DAMS

1:57.281

28

13.

Pedro Cardoso

Trident

1:57.392

24

14.

Bruno Baptista

Jenzer Motorsport

1:57.550

26

15.

Leonardo Pulcini

Campos Racing

1:57.610

26

16.

Max Defourny

ART Grand Prix

1:57.629

23

17.

Dorian Boccolacci

Arden International

1:57.749

28

18.

Patricio O’Ward

Koiranen GP

1:58.063

14

19.

Marcos Siebert

Jenzer Motorsport

1:58.473

29

20.

Julian Falchero

Campos Racing

1:58.481

25

21.

Robert Shwartzman

Koiranen GP

1:59.283

22

22.

Tarun Reddy

Koiranen GP

1:59.520

15

23.

Petru Florescu

Campos Racing

2:01.085

27

Afternoon session

1.

Nirei Fukuzumi

ART Grand Prix

1:55.479

35

2.

Jack Aitken

ART Grand Prix

1:55.712

33

3.

George Russell

ART Grand Prix

1:55.732

33

4.

Arjun Maini

Trident

1:56.062

25

5.

Santino Ferrucci

DAMS

1:56.108

21

6.

Alessio Lorandi

Jenzer Motorsport

1:56.123

25

7.

Raoul Hyman

DAMS

1:56.253

26

8.

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

1:56.491

19

9.

Steijn Schothorst

DAMS

1:56.558

27

10.

Ryan Tveter

Trident

1:56.582

26

11.

Leonardo Pulcini

Campos Racing

1:56.659

19

12.

Dorian Boccolacci

Arden International

1:56.756

26

13.

Patricio O’Ward

Koiranen GP

1:56.757

22

14.

Matheus Leist

Arden International

1:56.839

25

15.

Max Defourny

ART Grand Prix

1:56.892

33

16.

Bruno Baptista

Jenzer Motorsport

1:57.016

23

17.

Pedro Cardoso

Trident

1:57.112

29

18.

Marcos Siebert

Jenzer Motorsport

1:57.164

27

19.

Robert Schwartzman

Koiranen GP

1:57.346

22

20.

Julian Falchero

Campos Racing

1:57.355

22

21.

Tarun Reddy

Koiranen GP

1:57.766

28

22.

Petru Florescu

Campos Racing

1:59.387

30

23.

Niko Kari

Koiranen GP

2:00.824

19

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