GP2 logoART Grand Prix driver sets the pace in opening round of the 2013 season in Malaysia

The 2013 season kicked off in the best possible way for title hopeful James Calado: the ART driver set the fastest laptime of the free practice session this morning at Sepang International Circuit with a 1:45.403. Simon Trummer ended a hundredth shy behind the Brit.

The first free practice session of the ninth GP2 Series season opened in hot temperatures as the twenty-six drivers took to the track on Hard Pirelli tyres. Stefano Coletti was the first one out of the pitlane and was quick to set the pace, but his teammate Trummer improved on his flying second lap and moved up to P1.

The Swiss did not enjoy his time at the top for too long however as James Calado found some extra pace to improve on Trummer’s laptime by a hair’s breadth. Behind the pair, Tom Dillmann was quickest in the first two sectors, but a slower third sector put him in P3 ahead of rookie Mitch Evans.

The session was trouble free as the drivers came to grips with the track. Julian Leal took a short trip to the gravel bed at turn 4 before rejoining safely whilst Kevin Ceccon made one to the run-off area in a close call with Sergio Canamasas.. As the minutes dropped down, the standings remained unchanged at the top, and at the chequered flag, Calado could enjoy sitting pretty at the top of the standings for the first session of the season. Marcus Ericsson, Felipe Nasr, Johnny Cecotto, Stefano Coletti, Rio Haryanto and Stéphane Richelmi completed the top ten.

With fourteen drivers running within one second of each other and the weather being unpredictable in Malaysia, today’s qualifying session promises to deliver some big surprises as the 26 drivers will be eager to kick-start their campaign in the best possible way.

Kuala Lumpur – Free Practice

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. James Calado ART Grand Prix 1:45.403

11

2. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:45.422

13

3. Tom Dillmann RUSSIAN TIME 1:45.589

13

4. Mitch Evans Arden International 1:45.668

13

5. Marcus Ericsson DAMS 1:45.750

12

6. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:45.784

13

7. Johnny Cecotto Arden International 1:45.796

12

8. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:45.846

13

9. Rio Haryanto Barwa Addax Team 1:45.850

13

10. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:45.865

13

11. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:46.000

14

12. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:46.140

10

13. Julian Leal Racing Engineering 1:46.193

7

14. Jolyon Palmer Carlin 1:46.357

13

15. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:46.374

12

16. Kevin Giovesi Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:46.590

14

17. Sergio Canamasas Caterham Racing 1:46.595

13

18. Daniel Abt ART Grand Prix 1:46.635

13

19 Sam Bird RUSSIAN TIME 1:46.694

14

20. Nathanaël Berthon Trident Racing 1:46.695

11

21. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:46.737

12

22. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs MP Motorsport 1:46.934

13

23. Conor Daly Hilmer Motorsport 1:47.303

13

24. Kevin Ceccon Trident Racing 1:47.355

9

25. Pal Varhaug Hilmer Motorsport 1:48.550

14

26. Ma Qing Hua Caterham Racign 1:48.829

13