A short few days following the end of the first GP2 Series pre-season test session in Jerez, the paddock remained in Spain, but relocated to Barcelona for the second and final testing days before the eighth season starts in Malaysia later this month.
The conditions could not have been more miserable as the session opened this morning at Circuit de Catalunya with heavy rain and strong winds sweeping over the track. Simon Trummer was the first driver to test the track conditions, but after thirty minutes of running, only four drivers had set a lap time, Daniel De Jong topping the timesheets.
The proceedings were halted twice in the first hour, first when Rio Haryanto clipped the barrier at turn 2 and then when Kevin Giovesi stopped at turn 8. Halfway through the session, Tom Dillmann went top for newcomers RUSSIAN TIME, but Calado also improved and edged the Frenchman out with a lap time of 1:50.928. De Jong moved up to P2 but remained 1.4s slower than the Brit. With six minutes left on the clock, a final red flag stopped the session when Rodolfo Gonzalez and Ma Qing Hua simultaneously went off track at turns 7 and 12 respectively. Calado, De Jong, Trummer, Fabio Leimer, Julia Leal, Dillmann, Daniel Abt, Felipe Nasr, Robin Frijns, and Rene Binder rounded up the top ten.
The rain eventually bowed out and the afternoon session opened under grey skies. In drying conditions, the lap times dropped significantly and it was finally time for everyone to tap into their stock of hard compounds. Dillmann and teammate Luciano Bacheta were the first ones to venture out on track on slicks and were rewarded with P1 and P2, the Frenchman ahead of the Brit. Frijns also improved and took control of the timesheets, but his best lap time was first bettered by Coletti who was then nudged out by De Jong with a lap time of 1:30.558.
The final hour of the day saw the drivers constantly improving their personal best and in the dying minutes, Frijns was the first man to dip under 1m30s, but Nasr went quickest until Coletti set a lap time of 1:29.868 and claimed the top spot until the checkered flag. Nasr finished a hair’s breadth of the Monegasque driver, closely followed by Frijns – today’s best rookie. Calado, Johnny Cecotto, Leimer, Stéphane Richelmi, De Jong, Jolyon Palmer and Abt rounded up the top ten.
Tomorrow’s session will start at 9am local time where more rain is expected.
|1.||James Calado||ART Grand Prix||1:50.928||20|
|2.||Daniel De Jong||MP Motorsport||1:51.858||34|
|4.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||1:52.316||21|
|5.||Julian Leal||Racing Engineering||1:52.334||24|
|6.||Tom Dillmann||RUSSIAN TIME||1:52.355||15|
|7.||Daniel Abt||ART Grand Prix||1:52.416||19|
|9.||Robin Frijns||Trident Racing||1:52.716||15|
|10.||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:53.097||28|
|12.||Ma Qing Hua||Caterham Racing||1:53.307||37|
|13.||Johnny Cecotto||Arden International||1:53.383||17|
|14.||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Trident Racing||1:53.549||20|
|15.||Sergio Canamasas||Caterham Racing||1:53.613||30|
|16.||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||1:53.621||33|
|17.||Mitch Evans||Arden International||1:53.690||28|
|19.||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||MP Motorsport||1:53.957||17|
|20.||Conor Daly||Hilmer Motorsport||1:54.099||28|
|22.||Luciano Bacheta||RUSSIA TIME||1:54.948||17|
|23.||Pal Varhaug||Hilmer Motorsport||1:55.910||20|
|24.||Rio Haryanto||Barwa Addax Team||1:57.604||9|
|26.||Kevin Giovesi||Venezuela GP Lazarus||—||1|
|3.||Robin Frijns||Trident Racing||1:29.951||19|
|4.||James Calado||ART Grand||1:30.239||24|
|5.||Johnny Cecotto||Arden International||1:30.323||25|
|6.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||1:30.335||16|
|8.||Daniel De Jong||MP Motorsport||1:30.487||23|
|10.||Daniel Abt||ART Grand Prix||1:30.522||21|
|11.||Kevin Giovesi||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:30.551||16|
|12.||Mitch Evans||Arden International||1:30.781||24|
|14.||Jake Rosenzweig||Barwa Addax Team||1:31.027||25|
|15.||Sergio Canamasas||Caterham Racing||1:31.032||21|
|16.||Tom Dillmann||RUSSIAN TIME||1:31.035||25|
|17.||Adrian Quaife-Hobbs||MP Motorsport||1:31.075||24|
|19.||Julian Leal||Racing Engineering||1:31.520||28|
|20.||Rio Haryanto||Barwa Addax Team||1:31.626||23|
|21.||Conor Daly||Hilmer Motorsport||1:32.141||29|
|22.||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Trident Racing||1:32.178||23|
|23.||Rene Binder||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:32.586||24|
|24.||Luciano Bacheta||RUSSIAN TIME||1:32.712||32|
|25.||Ma Qing Hua||Caterham Racing||1:33.360||26|
|26.||Pal Varhaug||Hilmer Motorsport||1:34.357||17|