Evans sets early GP3 pace in Monza

Mitch Evans

New Zealander Mitch Evans took first blood in the title fight which is set to rage this weekend at the final round of the 2012 GP3 Series in Monza, Italy. The MW Arden ace was quickest in Free Practice ahead of his teammate Matias Laine and Series rival Aaro Vainio.

Temperatures of 20 degrees greeted the GP3 paddock as the forty-five minute practice got underway with Dmitry Suranovich and Fabiano Machado first out to set installation laps. One of the four Italian drivers racing this weekend, Kevin Ceccon (Ocean Racing Technology) headed the way in the early part of the session whilst Tio Ellinas was an early stoppage after two laps when his Marussia Manor Racing car stopped at turn 2.

Carlin's Alex Brundle shot into P1 and at one point it was a Carlin top three with Antonio Felix Da Costa and William Buller joining him in the top three times. Suranovich split the group by going second quickest, until Atech driver Tamas Pal Kiss briefly held the top position in the standings. It was not to end well for the Hungarian driver though after he and Fabiano Machado (Marussia Manor Racing) made contact approaching the Parabolica and the pair finished practice in the gravel trap.

Evans set the quickest time so far in the session by becoming the first driver to break into the 1.44's barrier until Vainio grabbed P1 to displace the New Zealander. In the final minute of practice, Evans reclaimed his position at the top of the standings and was joined by teammate Laine, the Finn edging out his fellow compatriot Vainio. David Fumanelli posted the fourth fastest time ahead of Daniel Abt, Suranovich, Pal-Kiss and Giovanni Venturini.

Qualifying takes place at 09.00 CET tomorrow morning.

Practice – Monza

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Mitch Evans MW Arden 1:44.477 16
2. Matias Laine MW Arden 1:44.520 13
3. Aaro Vainio Lotus GP 1:44.621 9
4. David Fumanelli MW Arden 1:44.750 18
5. Daniel Abt Lotus GP 1:44.989 12
6. Dmitry Suranovich Marussia Manor Racing 1:45.098 19
7. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS GP 1:45.163 10
8. Giovanni Venturini Trident Racing 1:45.445 18
9. William Buller Carlin 1:45.475 18
10. Robert Visoiu Jenzer Motorsport 1:45.555 16
11. Conor Daly Lotus GP 1:45.654 9
12. Alice Powell Status Grand Prix 1:45.657 18
13. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:45.684 20
14. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:45.695 14
15. Antonio Felix Da Costa Carlin 1:45.778 16
16. Kevin Ceccon Ocean Racing Technology 1:45.825 17
17. Lewis Williamson Status Grand Prix 1:46.026 17
18. Alex Brundle Carlin 1:46.445 15
19. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS GP 1:46.472 20
20. Fabiano Machado Marussia Manor Racing 1:46.940 12
21. Vicky Piria Trident Racing 1:46.962 14
22. John Wartique Atech CRS GP 1:46.963 19
23. Carmen Jorda Ocean Racing Technology 1:48.610 20
24. Robert Cregan Ocean Racing Technology 1:51.803 8
25. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:55.083 2

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