Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims set the pace during the GP3 Series mid-season testing in Valencia. The 23-year-old British driver set the quickest time of the two-day test this morning with a laptime of 1:26.842.
In stark contrast to yesterday’s weather, the teams were greeted with cloud overhead this morning at Circuit de la Comunitat Valencia-Ricardo Tormo, and all the drivers hit the track early to make the most of the cooler temperatures. Tom Dillmann was the first to top the times in his Addax machine, but Sims was straight up to speed and quickly snatched the top spot from the Frenchman. Thirty minutes into the session Lewis Williamson showed MW Arden’s pace by setting the quickest time, albeit very briefly – just five minutes later Sims was back on top and his time went unbeaten for the remainder of the session. Dillmann had to settle for second spot ahead of Series leader Nigel Melker and his RSC Mücke Motorsport teammate Michael Christensen. Addax Team’s Gabby Chaves was fifth quickest, followed by Williamson, James Calado, Leonardo Cordeiro, Aaro Vainio and Nico Müller.
By the afternoon, the clouds had passed and the temperature had risen to thirty degrees once more, and the teams spent the rest of the day working on race simulations and setups ahead of Round 3 in Valencia street circuit next week. As Sims continued his good form in the morning session, so did Marussia Manor Racing’s Rio Haryanto in the afternoon – the young Indonesian spent nearly the entire second half of the day at the top of the timesheet, ahead of Melker, Calado, Dillmann and Bottas. It wasn’t until the dying minutes that the Indonesian’s time was bettered during the inevitable last minute shootout.
As nearly all the field headed back out on track for one final run, a red flag ten minutes from the end of the session hampered a number of their runs, but RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Christensen found enough clean air to put in his best time of the day and snatch the top spot from Haryanto with just three minutes left on the clock. Haryanto was bumped into second ahead of Melker, Calado, Dillmann, Bottas, Simon Trummer, Chaves and Daniel Morad in what was an incredibly close final session – the top twenty-one drivers were within just one second of each other.
GP3 Series will be back on track next week for Round 3 at the Valencia Street Circuit on 24-25-26 June.
|3||31||MELKER,Nigel||RSC Mücke MS||NED||01:27,080||31||00:00,238|
|4||30||CHRISTENSEN,Michael||RSC Mücke MS||DEN||01:27,093||32||00:00,251|
|9||17||VAINIO,Aaro||Tech 1 Racing||FIN||01:27,496||27||00:00,654|
|11||20||STOCKINGER,Marlon||Atech CRS GP||PHI||01:27,580||35||00:00,738|
|15||5||DACOSTA,Antonio F.||Status G.P.||POR||01:27,680||33||00:00,838|
|18||29||BACHETA,Luciano||RSC Mücke MS||GBR||01:27,796||34||00:00,954|
|20||22||AMBERG,Zoel||Atech CRS GP||SUI||01:27,862||27||00:01,020|
|24||19||KISS,Tamas P.||Tech 1 Racing||HUN||01:27,942||21||00:01,100|
|28||21||YELLOLY,Nick||Atech CRS GP||GBR||01:28,421||19||00:01,579|
|29||18||HYLKEMA,Thomas||Tech 1 Racing||NED||01:28,847||28||00:02,005|
|1||30||CHRISTENSEN,Michael||RSC Mücke MS||DEN||01:28,445||18|
|3||31||MELKER,Nigel||RSC Mücke MS||NED||01:28,601||47||00:00,156|
|10||5||DACOSTA,Antonio F.||Status G.P.||POR||01:29,028||32||00:00,583|
|15||20||STOCKINGER,Marlon||Atech CRS GP||PHI||01:29,158||37||00:00,713|
|17||17||VAINIO,Aaro||Tech 1 Racing||FIN||01:29,212||21||00:00,767|
|18||21||YELLOLY,Nick||Atech CRS GP||GBR||01:29,321||38||00:00,876|
|19||19||KISS,Tamas P.||Tech 1 Racing||HUN||01:29,326||26||00:00,881|
|25||22||AMBERG,Zoel||Atech CRS GP||SUI||01:29,615||27||00:01,170|
|28||29||BACHETA,Luciano||RSC Mücke MS||GBR||01:30,023||30||00:01,578|
|29||18||HYLKEMA,Thomas||Tech 1 Racing||NED||01:30,228||31||00:01,783|