Mitch Evans - MW Arden, GP3 Series Media

New Zealander quickest on day one of pre-season testing in Spain

GP3 Series testing resumed in Barcelona at the Circuit de Catalunya for the second official pre-season test of 2012. There were six new faces on show: Carmen Jorda (Ocean Racing Technology), Kotaro Sakurai (Status Grand Prix), Tom Blomqvist (Status Grand Prix), Kevin Ceccon (Trident Racing) and John Wartique (Atech CRS GP). Carlos Sainz Junior stepped in at Lotus GP for Aaro Vainio who will return to action on day two of the test.

MW Arden Ace Mitch Evans posted the fastest time of day with a laptime of 1:38.609, just ahead of Cypriot Tio Ellinas and Daniel Abt in the morning session. It was the German who then went quickest in the afternoon, with times slower compared to the earlier part of the day, until the dying moments of the test.

Temperatures were cool as the test got underway in Spain and it was new signing Robert Cregan who initially led the timesheets. However, the Irishman ran wide in turn 9 later on and ended up in the gravel bed, thus causing a red flag. Trident Racing’s Kevin Ceccon then went quickest with a 1:40.172 ahead of Patric Niederhauser. Matias Laine went top until Abt became the first man to break into the 1.38s barrier. After the first hour, the Lotus GP driver had an advantage of 0.4s over the Finn.

A second red flag brought a halt to proceedings after Blomqvist paid a visit to the gravel trap after his first lap out on new tyres. When the session resumed, Evans charged to the head of the timings with a lap of 1:38.609 which was 0.1s faster than the German. There was another stoppage in the morning after Fabiano Machado spun into the gravel at turn 8 and caused a third red flag. Tio Ellinas jumped up to P2 and was 0.124s off Evans best lap of 1:38.609 at the midway point of the session. The positions then remained fairly settled in the final hour with Abt in third ahead of David Fumanelli, Tamas Pal Kiss, Antonio Felix Da Costa and Laine. Ceccon, Niederhauser and Maxim Zimin completed the top ten.

The afternoon session was run in beautiful warm sunshine and it was Abt who set the early pace with a time of 1:39.343 ahead of fellow Lotus GP driver Sainz Jnr. There was another break in proceedings at the midpoint of the afternoon when Evans spun exiting turn 8 and the red flag came out.

In the final thirty minutes the track came alive as positions were swapping throughout the field. Marussia Manor Racing’s Ellinas shot to P1, 0.1s faster than Abt and then Sainz Jnr and Ceccon pushed the Cypriot down to P3. With fifteen minutes to go, MW Arden’s Laine went top, a mere 0.073s quicker than the Spanish rookie, until Abt regained his place at the top of the timesheets with less than five minutes on the clock. Final top ten was Abt, Laine, Ellinas, Sainz Jnr, Ceccon, Blomqvist, Fumanelli, Niederhauser, Conor Daly and Antonio Felix Da Costa.

The session was red flagged in the final moments after the Italian Ceccon spun into turn 4 and therefore the test was brought to a close as time had run out to continue.

The schedule for day two of the test is 09.00 – 12.00, with a one hour lunch break. The afternoon action will resume at 13.00 – 16.00

Morning session

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Mitch Evans MW Arden 1:38.609

17

2. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:38.733

15

3. Daniel Abt Lotus GP 1:38.799

30

4. David Fumanelli MW Arden 1:38.944

26

5. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS GP 1:39.075

16

6. Antonio Felix Da Costa Carlin 1:39.105

37

7. Matias Laine MW Arden 1:39.199

9

8. Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 1:39.211

38

9. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.231

26

10. Maxim Zimin Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.271

35

11. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:39.340

28

12. Carlos Sainz Jnr Lotus GP 1:39.470

32

13. Conor Daly Lotus GP 1:39.615

29

14. Robert Visoiu Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.649

24

15. Tom Blomqvist Status Grand Prix 1:39.826

23

16. Alex Brundle Carlin 1:40.083

23

17. Antonio Spavone Trident Racing 1:40.109

32

18. William Buller Carlin 1:40.589

24

19. Dmitry Suranovich Marussia Manor Racing 1:40.760

26

20. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS GP 1:41.013

26

21. Fabiano Machado Marussia Manor Racing 1:41.027

27

22. Kotaro Sakurai Status Grand Prix 1:41.137

26

23. Vicky Piria Trident Racing 1:41.434

33

24. Robert Cregan Ocean Racing Technology 1:42.162

23

25. John Wartique Atech CRS GP 1:43.695

22

26. Carmen Jorda Ocean Racing Technology 1:44.012

22

       

 

       

 

Afternoon Session

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Daniel Abt Lotus GP 1:38.876

24

2. Matias Laine MW Arden 1:39.014

27

3. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:39.079

29

4. Carlos Sainz Jnr Lotus GP 1:39.087

28

5. Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 1:39.102

29

6. Tom Blomqvist Status Grand Prix 1:39.139

25

7. David Fumanelli MW Arden 1:39.214

30

8. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.298

32

9. Conor Daly Lotus GP 1:39.320

33

10. Antonio Felix Da Costa Carlin 1:39.330

35

11. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS GP 1:39.398

15

12. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:39.582

23

13. Antonio Spavone Trident Racing 1:39.747

45

14. Robert Visoiu Jenzer Motorsport 1:39.792

28

15. Mitch Evans MW Arden 1:39.849

21

16. Alex Brundle Carlin 1:39.898

48

17. Fabiano Machado Marussia Manor Racing 1:40.107

42

18. Maxim Zimin Jenzer Motorsport 1:40.224

20

19. Vicky Piria Trident Racing 1:40.516.

28

20. Kotaro Sakurai Status Grand Prix 1:40.541

12

21. Dmitry Suranovich Marussia Manor Racing 1:40.731

34

22. Robert Cregan Ocean Racing Technology 1:40.951

26

23. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS GP 1:41.059

26

24. William Buller Carlin 1:41.154

24

25. John Wartique Atech CRS GP 1:42.781

19

26. Carmen Jorda Ocean Racing Technology 1:44.009

35