Crestani sets the pace in Barcelona

GP2 Series 2012 pre-season testing resumed this week at Circuit de Catalunya. Four new faces joined the field: Giancarlo Serenelli at Venezuela GP Lazarus, Ricardo Teixeira and Sergio Canamasas at Rapax, and Jon Lancaster at Ocean Racing Technology.

Fabrizio Crestani proved today that new team Venezuela GP Lazarus is already on the pace in comparison with the rest of the field after he set the quickest laptime of the day in the morning session whilst Max Chilton at Carlin was fastest this afternoon.

The three-day session opened in cool temperatures. Although most drivers took to the track early for their installation laps, it was a slow first hour with only six racers to clock in a laptime, Crestani being the quickest in a 1:30.271. As the temperature rose slowly, drivers went out for their first stints and Esteban Gutierrez was the first one to dip under 1m30s, one tenth faster than Chilton. But the Briton improved and bettered the Mexican’s laptime by one tenth of a second.

Halfway through the morning session, Giedo van der Garde took control of the timesheets with a 1:29.750, but with one hour left on the clock, Stefano Coletti went top, 0.037s faster than the Dutchman. Crestani’s efforts in the final thirty minutes were rewarded with a laptime of 1:29.420, two tenths clear from his closest rival Jolyon Palmer. In the dying minutes, both Julian Leal and Nathanael Berthon stopped on track prompting a red flag. The session was not resumed and Crestani finished on top ahead of Palmer, Stéphane Richelmi, Rio Haryanto, Coletti, Davide Valsecchi, Leal, van der Garde, Chilton and Simon Trummer.

The afternoon session saw James Calado set the early pace. A first red flag interrupted the proceedings after Felipe Nasr ran a bit too wide and stopped in the gravel bed. At the restart, van der Garde went top and another red flag stopped the session following Fabio Onidi spinning at the exit of Turn 9. The remaining of the session ran smoothly. Coletti was the first driver to dip under 1m30s, but his laptime was bettered by Chilton. Carlin’s Briton set a laptime of 1:29.479 with one hour left on the clock. He stayed unchallenged until the checkered flag, Leal ending a shy 0.01s behind Chilton. Ericsson, Coletti, Calado van der Garde, Valsecchi, Gutiérrez, Johnny Cecotto and Trummer completed the top 10.

Luiz Razia did not take part of the session as he was feeling under the weather.

Tomorrow’s session will start at 9am local time.

Morning results

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:29.420 23
2. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:29.645 23
3. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:29.658 23
4. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:29.673 30
5. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:29.713 15
6. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:29.726 23
7. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:29.743 27
8. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:29.750 16
9. Max Chilton Carlin 1:29.774 15
10. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:29.892 29
11. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:29.932 22
12. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:29.994 23
13. James Calado Lotus GP 1:30.245 18
14. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:30.356 22
15. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:30.366 16
16. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:30.703 25
17. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:30.726 16
18. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:30.861 17
19. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:30.907 23
20. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:31.606 9
21. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:32.472 24
22. Sergio Canamasas Rapax 1:32.662 30
23. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:33.189 27
24. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:35.588 34
25. Luiz Razia Arden International 2
26. Jon Lancaster Ocean Racing Technology 2

Afternoon results

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Max Chilton Carlin 1:29.479 23
2. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:29.494 24
3. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:29.605 21
4. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:29.687 26
5. James Calado Lotus GP 1:29.740 22
6. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:29.769 26
7. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:29.877 41
8. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:29.902 25
9. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:29.947 28
10. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:29.980 36
11. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:30.014 29
12. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:30.053 30
13. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:30.311 20
14. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:30.323 28
15. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:30.393 23
16. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:30.577 26
17. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:30.603 18
18. Jon Lancaster Ocean Racing Technology 1:30.715 36
19. Sergio Canamasas Rapax 1:31.468 39
20. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:31.646 21
21. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:31.696 29
22. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:31.967 24
23. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:32.613 24
24. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:33.456 27
25. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:35.420 11

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