Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas quickest in Free Practice

Cypriot driver Tio Ellinas set the initial pace in the opening session for Round 7 of the 2012 GP3 Series at the Spa Francorchamps circuit. Carlin's Antonio Felix Da Costa was second, with Lotus GP's Daniel Abt third.

The forty-five minute practice got underway with cool track temperatures of 13 degrees as the rain hammered down on and off through the session. Matias Laine and Robert Visoiu were first out to test track conditions as the GP3 Series returned to on track action after the summer break.

The Carlin drivers of Felix Da Costa and William Buller took turns of heading the standings in the early part of the session with Abt and the third Carlin of Alex Brundle also in the mix. The session was red flagged when Atech CRS GP returnee and home favorite, John Wartique, spun during the challenging Eau Rouge corner. The Belgian driver made contact with the tire barrier which caused a premature end to his session.

When practice resumed, Felix Da Costa topped the timesheets, with a seven tenths advantage over Abt. The Carlin driver looked set to end the session in P1 until Ellinas who had been progressing up the standings, put in a flier in the final minute and ended practice fastest when the checkered flag was waved.

The session finished with Ellinas a mere 0.043s faster than Felix Da Costa and 0.104s ahead of Abt. Conor Daly was fourth in front of Brundle, Aaro Vainio, Mitch Evans, Laine, Lewis Williamson and Alex Fontana.

Qualifying takes place at 09.45 CET tomorrow morning.

Practice Results

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 2:28.100 9
2. Antonio Felix Da Costa Carlin 2:28.143 9
3. Daniel Abt Lotus GP 2:28.204 10
4. Conor Daly Lotus GP 2:28.392 10
5. Alex Brundle Carlin 2:29.063 10
6. Aaro Vainio Lotus GP 2:29.498 10
7. Mitch Evans MW Arden 2:29.555 9
8. Matias Laine MW Arden 2:29.692 10
9. Lewis Williamson Status Grand Prix 2:29.925 10
10. Alex Fontana Jenzer Motorsport 2:30.093 10
11. David Fumanelli MW Arden 2:30.122 10
12. William Buller Carlin 2:30.133 10
13. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS GP 2:30.296 8
14. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 2:30.324 9
15. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 2:30.556 10
16. Kevin Ceccon Ocean Racing Technology 2:30.801 10
17. Robert Visoiu Jenzer Motorsport 2:30.998 10
18. Giovanni Venturini Trident Racing 2:31.157 10
19. Robert Cregan Ocean Racing Technology 2:31.404 10
20. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS GP 2:31.455 9
21. Fabiano Machado Marussia Manor Racing 2:31.584 10
22. Dmitry Suranovich Marussia Manor Racing 2:31.832 10
23. Vicky Piria Trident Racing 2:34.041 10
24. Carmen Jorda Ocean Racing Technology 2:35.412 10
25. Alice Powell Status Grand Prix 2:35.772 10
26. John Wartique Atech CRS GP 2:36.035 3

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