GP2 Series Media

DAMS racer fastest on final test day in Jerez

Davide Valsecchi was quickest again today in Jerez in an eventful test session. The DAMS driver set his best laptime of 1:25.567 early in the day. His closest rival, Stefano Coletti, ended one tenth behind the Italian.

For the final day of testing it was James Calado at Lotus GP who set the early pace but his time was soon bettered by Giedo van der Garde who clocked 1:26.053, a mere two hundredths quicker than Tom Dillmann testing at Rapax today. The proceedings were stopped thirty minutes into the session after a piece of curb came away from the track. As it took approximately 45 minutes to repair, since the day’s schedule was to run from 9am to 12pm, with a one hour break and then run again from 1pm till 4pm, it was decided that the session would run without any break until 4pm.

At the restart, Davide Valsecchi quickly topped the timesheets and was the first driver to break the 1m26s. He was soon imitated by Max Chilton, van der Garde, Marcus Ericsson and Coletti. Another red flag interrupted proceedings after Esteban Gutierrez stopped in the gravel bed at Turn 1. Minutes after the track went live again, Fabrizio Crestani caused another halt after he lost control of his Venezuela GP Lazarus car.

The session was green flagged again and Coletti pushed to close the gap with Valsecchi and moved up to P2, one tenth behind the Italian. A fourth red flag brought caused the session to have another enforced break: Fabio Leimer stopped at Turn 1 in the gravel. When the track went live again, Gutiérrez was quickly on the pace and moved up to P3.

The remainder of the day ran smoothly as teams readjusted their programmes to the new schedule. Most drivers did race simulations along with pitstop practices. A final red flag stopped proceedings fifteen minutes before the end of the session after Kevin Ceccon lost control of his Ocean Racing car. Valsecchi retained P1 at the chequered flag ahead of Coletti, Gutiérrez, van der Garde (who with 96 laps covered the greatest distance today), Chilton, Ericsson, Dillmann, Calado, Nigel Melker and Jolyon Palmer.

This concluded the first three-day pre-season test. Next week, the GP2 paddock will set up camp in Barcelona for the last test session before the opening round of the 2012 season in Sepang, Malaysia. The twenty-six cars will run for three days at Circuit de Catalunya from Tuesday to Thursday.


Day 3 results

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:25.567


2. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:25.670


3. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:25.725


4. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:25.742


5. Max Chilton Carlin 1:25.801


6. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:25.940


7. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1:26.003


8. James Calado Lotus GP 1:26.046


9. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:26.082


10. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:26.126


11. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:26.127


12. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:26.148


13. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:26.148


14. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:26.213


15. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:26.342


16. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:26.350


17. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:26.361


18. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:26.369


19. Dani Clos Rapax 1:26.453


20. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:26.466


21. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:26.611


22. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:26.747


23. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:26.749


24. Kevin Ceccon Ocean Racing Technology 1:26.761


25. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:26.958


26. Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:27.143