gp3-carlogoART Grand Prix’s Conor Daly sets the pace on day one in Spain

American Conor Daly recorded the quickest time of the day with a 1:34.578 which was 3.5 seconds faster than the best lap set in the GP3/10 car in 2012 as GP3 Series had another successful day with the second generation car with the full grid of 27 drivers continuing to learn in the new GP3 machine. Marussia Manor Racing’s Nick Cassidy topped the timesheets in the morning.

The Circuit de Catalunya hosted the second official pre-season test in damp conditions after rain had fallen overnight. After 20 minutes the drivers ventured onto the track on slicks and then the heavens opened with light rain. This was tricky for the drivers as it was too wet for slick Pirelli tyres but there was not enough water on track for use of wets, therefore Aaro Vainio (Koiranen GP), Daniil Kvyat (MW Arden), Samin Gomez (Jenzer Motorsport) and Carlos Sainz Jnr (MW Arden) were the only drivers to post a laptime. Kevin Korjus made it a Koiranen GP one-two after popping in the second fastest time, as the sunshine broke through and the track began to dry. There were two brief interruptions as David Fumanelli (Trident) stopped on circuit with technical gremlins.

Local favourite Sainz Jnr went top in the closing stages before Korjus reclaimed his position at the head of the standings. Soon after Cassidy set the best time of the morning in a 1:34.924.Korjus, Sainz Jnr, Alex Fontana (Jenzer Motorsport), Ellinas, Vainio, Lewis Williamson (Bamboo Engineering), Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport), Adderly Fong (Status Grand Prix) and Facu Regalia (ART Grand Prix) completed the top ten at the chequered flag.

Following the two hour break, heavy clouds hung over the circuit threatening to downpour but the sun fought through. There were several stoppages in the afternoon session including Vainio spinning into the gravel and technical gremlins for Josh Webster (Status Grand Prix) Patrick Kujala (Koiranen GP), Giovanni Venturini (Trident) and Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport).

ART Grand Prix teammates Regalia and Jack Harvey set the pace at the midway point of the session until Daniil Kvyat (MW Arden) shot to P1 with Nick Yelloly (Carlin) a mere 0.069s shy of the Russian. The final 30 minutes was like a qualifying session and was hotly contested as the drivers fed onto the track with new tyres.

Ellinas put in a flier with a 1:34.710 as the clock ticked down until American Conor Daly (ART Grand Prix) went a tenth quicker to finish the day fastest as Cassidy snuck into P3 as the chequered flag came out. Daly, Ellinas, Cassidy, Fontana, Yelloly, Regalia, Fumanelli, Kvyat, Sainz Jnr and Korjus rounded out the top ten.

Conor Daly (ART Grand Prix) commented: “We had a lot to figure out with the new GP3/13 car at the first test in Estoril and I believe now we have found a great set-up and a nice balance to achieve that one important hot lap. I am extremely happy and it was a nice surprise to be P1. I feel really positive about the second generation car, it’s much more fun to drive and certainly makes you question yourself before you add more power. I love having more speed!”

Tomorrow’s test session will run from 09.00 – 12.00 with a one hour break. The afternoon session will run from 13.00 – 16.00 CET.

Day 1: Morning

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Nick Cassidy Marussia Manor Racing 1:34.924

21

2. Kevin Korjus Koiranen GP 1:35.196

19

3. Carlos Sainz Jnr MW Arden 1:35.261

22

4. Alex Fontana Jenzer Motorsport 1:35.350

26

5. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:35.436

19

6. Aaro Vainio Koiranen GP 1:35.661

28

7. Lewis Williamson Bamboo Engineering 1:35.711

25

8. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:35.722

19

9. Adderly Fong Status Grand Prix 1:35.820

25

10. Facu Regalia ART Grand Prix 1:35.845

14

11. Nick Yelloly Carlin 1:35.878

16

12. Patrick Kujala Koiranen GP 1:35.910

18

13. Conor Daly ART Grand Prix 1:35.934

14

14. David Fumanelli Trident 1:36.045

18

15. Jack Harvey ART Grand Prix 1:36.156

12

16. Daniil Kvyat MW Arden 1:36.163

14

17. Dino Zamparelli Marussia Manor Racing 1:36.354

23

18. Josh Webster Status Grand Prix 1:36.520

23

19. Emanuele Zonzini Trident 1:36.622

14

20. Giovanni Venturini Trident 1:36.783

18

21. Robert Visoiu MW Arden 1:36.827

20

22. Jimmy Eriksson Status Grand Prix 1:37.049

17

23. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1:37.175

19

24. Eric Lichtenstein Carlin 1:37.747

20

25. Samin Gomez Jenzer Motorsport 1:37.877

23

26. Ryan Cullen Bamboo Engineering 1:38.058

17

27. Carmen Jorda Bamboo Engineering 1:39.522

16

Day 1: Afternoon

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Conor Daly ART Grand Prix 1:34.578

28

2. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:34.710

27

3. Nick Cassidy Marussia Manor Racing 1:34.715

23

4. Alex Fontana Jenzer Motorsport 1:34.826

30

5. Nick Yelloly Carlin 1:34.900

39

6. Facu Regalia ART Grand Prix 1:34.943

27

7. David Fumanelli Trident 1:35.059

32

8. Daniil Kvyat MW Arden 1:35.171

32

9. Carlos Sainz Jnr MW Arden 1:35.218

36

10. Kevin Korjus Koiranen GP 1:35.313

43

11. Jimmy Eriksson Status Grand Prix 1:35.337

34

12. Jack Harvey ART Grand Prix 1:35.402

28

13. Emanuele Zonzini Trident 1:35.448

23

14. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:35.593

19

15. Lewis Williamson Bamboo Engineering 1:35.604

30

16. Giovanni Venturini Trident 1:35.651

33

17. Dino Zamparelli Marussia Manor Racing 1:35.716

32

18. Adderly Fong Status Grand Prix 1:35.759

40

19. Robert Visoiu MW Arden 1:35.934

33

20. Aaro Vainio Koiranen GP 1:35.967

39

21. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1:36.277

34

22. Josh Webster Status Grand Prix 1:36.424

10

23. Samin Gomez Jenzer Motorsport 1:36.485

36

24. Eric Lichtenstein Carlin 1:36.572

44

25. Ryan Cullen Bamboo Engineering 1:37.909

24

26. Patrick Kujala Koiranen GP 1:37.955

12

27. Carmen Jorda Bamboo Engineering 1:38.683

43