Blue skies and slightly cooler temperatures greeted the GP3 paddock for the second and final day of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. Luis Sa Silva from Angola was first to exit the pitlane with Alex Lynn and Matheo Tuscher quick to follow.
It was a frenetic first hour with the times tumbling and positions changing. Marvin Kirchhofer (ART Grand Prix) was first to dip into the 1m35’s before Lynn blitzed his time lapping in the 1m34’s. Nick Yelloly (Status Grand Prix) nearly matched the Brit’s best efforts, just missing out by a mere 0.005s to go P2.
It was another Carlin driver to take the spotlight, this time the turn of Bernstorff who produced a blistering lap to rocket into P1, four tenths faster than his teammate Lynn. Pal Varhaug (Jenzer Motorsport) was another man on the move, the Swiss driver jumping up to second fastest, two tenths off Bernstorff.
Denis Nagulin (Trident) had an excursion into the gravel at Turn 9 which halted the session briefly as the positions remained fairly unchanged at the top for the second half of the morning session. Nick Yelloly (Status Grand Prix) snuck into P4, displacing Patric Niederhauser (Arden International) to fifth.
At the checkered flag it was Bernstorff who remained on top of the pile, ahead of Varhaug, Lynn, Yelloly, Niederhauser, Sa Silva, Alex Fontana, Kirchhofer, Jimmy Eriksson and Patrick Kujala. The top eight drivers were covered by less than half a second.
There was just a one hour break before the afternoon session commenced and it was Trident’s Roman De Beer who headed the pack early on. Victor Carbone made light contact with the barrier at Turn 4 which brought the red flag out for a brief time. Once the session re-started, it was Varhaug who rose to P1, four tenths ahead of the South African rookie. Marussia Manor Racing’s Stoneman edged out the Jenzer Motorsport driver by 0.016s to claim top spot with an hour remaining.
Some teams were choosing to practice pit-stops whilst others were opting for race simulations ahead of the upcoming new season. A third red flag occurred when Niederhauser stopped on track with less than 10 minutes to go and the session resumed with just over a minute left. Stoneman retained P1, ahead of Varhaug, De Beer, Kujala, Tuscher, Alfonso Celis Jr, Adderly Fong, Carbone, Nelson Mason and Richie Stanaway.
It is now just three weeks until the racing gets underway with Round 1 back here in Barcelona on 09-11 May 2014 – with reigning GP3 Series Champion Daniil Kvyat setting the F1 world alight, who will be next to follow in the Russian’s footsteps?
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Emil Bernstorff Carlin 1:34.494 38
2. Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1:34.699 32
3. Alex Lynn Carlin 1:34.727 38
4. Nick Yelloly Status Grand Prix 1:34.754 41
5. Patric Niederhauser Arden International 1:34.845 39
6. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1:34.897 37
7. Alex Fontana ART Grand Prix 1:34.908 40
8. Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 1:34.981 38
9. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1:35.096 20
10. Patrick Kujala Marussia Manor Racing 1:35.114 30
11. Dino Zamparelli ART Grand Prix 1:35.144 38
12. Adderly Fong Jenzer Motorsport 1:35.171 40
13. Santiago Urrutia Koiranen GP 1:35.282 40
14. Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1:35.305 28
15. Dean Stoneman Marussia Manor Racing 1:35.353 28
16. Roman De Beer Trident 1:35.398 35
17. Jann Mardenborough Arden International 1:35.572 37
18. Robert Visoiu Arden International 1:35.693 43
19. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:35.839 30
20. Alfonso Celis Jr Status Grand Prix 1:36.165 40
21. Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing 1:36.312 27
22. Nelson Mason Hilmer Motorsport 1:36.334 31
23. Victor Carbone Trident 1:36.620 39
24. Ivan Taranov Hilmer Motorsport 1:37.211 41
25. Denis Nagulin Trident 1:37.296 29
26. Carmen Jorda Koiranen GP 1:39.117 30
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Dean Stoneman Marussia Manor Racing 1:36.312 35
2. Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1:36.328 33
3. Roman De Beer Trident 1:36.743 30
4. Patrick Kujala Marussia Manor Racing 1:36.948 29
5. Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1:37.008 32
6. Alfonso Celis Jr Status Grand Prix 1:37.078 30
7. Adderly Fong Jenzer Motorsport 1:37.209 22
8. Victor Carbone Trident 1:37.309 27
9. Nelson Mason Hilmer Motorsport 1:37.410 27
10. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:37.508 25
11. Robert Visoiu Arden International 1:37.513 22
12. Dino Zamparelli ART Grand Prix 1:37.566 36
13. Jann Mardenborough Arden International 1:37.660 37
14. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1:37.680 40
15. Alex Fontana ART Grand Prix 1:37.682 39
16. Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 1:37.770 41
17. Denis Nagulin Trident 1:37.782 41
18. Patric Niederhauser Arden International 1:37.784 30
19. Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing 1:38.084 23