GP2 Series Media

After a cold and wet first day yesterday, the thirteen GP2 Series teams were greeted by a bit of sunshine this morning at Silverstone for the second and final day of the opening 2011 pre-season test. A dry track meant that Pirelli’s wet weather tyres were replaced by slicks, enabling the drivers to push their GP2/11 machines to the limit.

On good form since the beginning of his 2011 campaign, Giedo van der Garde at Barwa Addax was the early pacesetter of the morning session in 1:41.434, but by the first hour mark his laptime was bettered by iSport’s Sam Bird. The Brit stayed at the top for half an hour before being edged out by another Brit, Jolyon Palmer at Arden International. The rookie lapped the circuit half a second quicker than his countryman, but soon after that Jules Bianchi improved his personal best enough to claim the top spot.

At mid-session, with most of the drivers on new tyres, the standings kept on changing as everyone on track tried to get the most out of their fresh rubber. Eventually, on the one-hour mark, Christian Vietoris at Racing Engineering moved to the top of the timesheet ahead of Bianchi, Dani Clos and Charles Pic. The German’s pace was never matched, and he even improved his personal best in the last half an hour of the session to increase the gap with Bianchi. The session was briefly interrupted by five red flags, the last one happening with two minutes left on the clock and ending the proceedings for the morning.

The afternoon session opened in even warmer conditions and it was Vietoris who set the early pace ahead of Romain Grosjean and Luca Filippi.. On the one hour mark, Lotus ART’s men took control of the rest of the field, with Bianchi ahead of Esteban Gutierrez. Despite improving on his following lap, the GP3 Series Champion failed to edge out his teammate by 0.004s. Bianchi stayed firmly at the top, while Scuderia Coloni’s Michael Herck made his way past Vietoris to claim P3, but the German replied with another quick lap to gain his position back. Soon after, he managed to clock in a fastest laptime that put him back at the top of the timesheet.

However, the Racing Engineering man’s pace was bettered by iSport’s Marcus Ericsson who snatched the top spot with forty-five minutes left on the clock. He lost it temporarily to Herck, but on the final shoot out managed to lap the British track in 1:40.154, and became the fastest man of day. Bianchi, Pic, Vietoris, Grosjean, Gutierrez, Oliver Turvey, Luiz Razia, Max Chilton and Johnny Cecotto rounded out the top ten.

Next up, the GP2 Series paddock will head to Barcelona for the second and final 2011 pre-season testing on April 19-20.

Morning session

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1:40.218 31
2. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:40.442 36
3. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:40.505 34
4. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:40.562 31
5. Sam Bird iSport International 1:40.653 29
6. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:40.692 33
7. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:40.711 30
8. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:40.760 21
9. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:40.840 36
10. Max Chilton Carlin 1:41.024 25
11. Oliver Turvey Carlin 1:41.027 21
12. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:41.153 20
13. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:41.183 35
14. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:41.271 25
15. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:41.504 31
16. Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology 1:41.587 22
17. Davide Rigon Scuderia Coloni 1:41.591 31
18. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:41.634 22
19. Julian Leal Rapax 1:41.735 28
20. Luca Filippi Super Nova Racing 1:41.845 21
21. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:41.905 22
22. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:42.000 16
23. Josef Kral Arden International 1:42.010 23
24. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:42.064 31
25. Kevin Mirocha Ocean Racing Technology 1:42.092 36
26. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:42.107 26

Afternoon Session

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:40.154 31
2. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:40.322 36
3. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:40.586 29
4. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1:40.589 38
5. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:40.623 23
6. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:40.645 30
7. Oliver Turvey Carlin 1:40.772 29
8. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:40.925 33
9. Max Chilton Carlin 1:40.929 27
10. Johnny Cecotto Ocean Racing Technology 1:40.936 30
11. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:41.019 28
12. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:41.032 31
13. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:41.133 33
14. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:41.241 28
15. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:41.346 21
16. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:41.375 38
17. Davide Rigon Scuderia Coloni 1:41.378 32
18. Josef Kral Arden International 1:41.416 16
19. Luca Filippi Super Nova Racing 1:41.432 34
20. Sam Bird iSport International 1:41.503 16
21. Julian Leal Rapax 1:41.600 33
22. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:41.701 30
23. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:41.839 38
24. Kevin Mirocha Ocean Racing Technology 1:41.866 40
25. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:42.012 25
26. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:42.240 27