gp3-carlogoJenzer Motorsport’s Patric Niederhauser fastest in second official pre-season test

 

Swiss driver Patric Niederhauser set a blistering laptime of 1:33.750 which was an impressive 4.2 seconds faster than the best GP3 lap set at the Circuit de Catalunya in 2012. It was another trouble-free test session in Barcelona with the second generation car as the full grid of 27 drivers fought with the mixed weather conditions. Aaro Vainio was quickest in the afternoon for Koiranen GP.

 

Melville McKee replaced Lewis Williamson at Bamboo Engineering which was the only change to the line-up for day two. The first hour of the test was frenetic as the drivers fed onto the track eager to make the most of dry running before the expected rain fell. Jenzer Motorsport made it a one-two with Niederhauser and Alex Fontana topping the timesheets early on with drivers unable to improve as the heavens opened.

 

Jack Harvey stopped on track in his ART Grand Prix car with technical gremlins whilst Nick Cassidy (Marussia Manor Racing) clipped the barrier which caused brief red flags. Carmen Jorda (Bamboo Engineering) and Emanuele Zonzini (Trident) spun off into the gravel trap as the rain pounded down which caused two short interruptions at the close of the morning session.

 

Niederhauser’s quickest time was almost half a second faster than his teammate Fontana with Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing), Cassidy, Giovanni Venturini (Trident), Daniil Kvyat (MW Arden), Harvey, Facu Regalia (ART Grand Prix), Dino Zamparelli (Marussia Manor Racing) and Conor Daly (ART Grand Prix) rounding out the top ten at the chequered flag.

 

Heavy rain hammered down and the temperature dropped as the afternoon session got underway as the drivers wrestled with the wet conditions. There were a number of red flags in the afternoon session which included Josh Webster, Regalia, Samin Gomez, Zonzini, McKee and Daly who had minor offs as the treacherous weather continued to cause drivers a headache. Daly held top spot in the standings with the Koiranen GP duo of Kevin Korjus and Aaro Vainio second and third as the drivers concentrated on wet weather set-up.

 

Carlos Sainz Jnr (MW Arden) went into the tyre barrier at turn three which had been problematic for a number of drivers, thus causing significant damage to his car which brought the red flag out. In the final part of the session Vainio shot to P1 with Harvey into P2.  Harvey ran off track at the end of the session which meant the session ended under red flag conditions. Therefore Vainio remained at the head of the timings in front of Harvey, Daly, Korjus, Eric Lichtenstein, Regalia, Venturini, Jimmy Eriksson (Status Grand Prix), Nick Yelloly (Carlin) and Zamparelli.

 

Patric Niederhauser commented: “I have so much fun driving the second generation car, it’s very challenging. The speed differential between the GP3/13 and GP3/10 car is immense and I feel there are still improvements to come within the car set-up as this is only the second test. Driver skill is really tested as you have to adapt your driving style to suit the needs and the power of the machine. Fast corners are much trickier to control. Tyre management is even more important this year and it’s the perfect preparation to learn and progress to GP2 and Formula 1.”

 

The final official pre-season test takes place at Silverstone on 03-04 April before the first round gets underway in May at Barcelona.

 

 

Day 2: Morning

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:33.750

19

2. Alex Fontana Jenzer Motorsport 1:34.176

24

3. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:34.209

27

4. Nick Cassidy Marussia Manor Racing 1:34.219

23

5. Giovanni Venturini Trident 1:34.411

21

6. Daniil Kvyat MW Arden 1:34.441

32

7. Jack Harvey ART Grand Prix 1:34.491

19

8. Facu Regalia ART Grand Prix 1:34.519

29

9. Dino Zamparelli Marussia Manor Racing 1:34.520

30

10. Conor Daly ART Grand Prix 1:34.576

29

11. Carlos Sainz Jnr MW Arden 1:34.601

27

12. Nick Yelloly Carlin 1:34.668

25

13. David Fumanelli MW Arden 1:34.720

21

14. Kevin Korjus Koiranen GP 1:34.737

17

15. Jimmy Eriksson Status Grand Prix 1:34.738

16

16. Robert Visoiu MW Arden 1:34.738

25

17. Patrick Kujala Koiranen GP 1:34.844

20

18. Emanuele Zonzini Trident 1:34.976

19

19. Adderly Fong Status Grand Prix 1:35.159

13

20. Aaro Vainio Koiranen GP 1:35.328

15

21. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1:35.447

27

22. Josh Webster Carlin 1:35.629

16

23. Samin Gomez Jenzer Motorsport 1:36.072

18

24. Eric Lichtenstein Carlin 1:36.209

28

25. Melville McKee Bamboo Engineering 1:36.336

27

26. Ryan Cullen Bamboo Engineering 1:37.128

22

27. Carmen Jorda Bamboo Engineering 1:38.378

21

 

 

Day 2: Afternoon

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Aaro Vainio Koiranen GP 1:54.509

22

2. Jack Harvey ART Grand Prix 1:56.109

16

3. Conor Daly ART Grand Prix 1:56.305

25

4. Kevin Korjus Koiranen GP 1:56.385

36

5. Eric Lichtenstein Carlin 1:57.161

23

6. Facu Regalia ART Grand Prix 1:57.234

21

7. Giovanni Venturini Trident 1:57.622

17

8. Jimmy Eriksson Status Grand Prix 1:57.843

28

9. Nick Yelloly Carlin 1:58.106

19

10. Dino Zamparelli Marussia Manor Racing 1:58.183

14

11. Adderly Fong Status Grand Prix 1:59.207

24

12. David Fumanelli Trident 1:59.252

18

13. Josh Webster Status Grand Prix 1:59.568

12

14. Emanuele Zonzini Trident 2:00.464

16

15. Patrick Kujala Koiranen GP 2:01.289

21

16. Ryan Cullen Bamboo Engineering 2:01.476

15

17. Carlos Sainz Jnr MW Arden 2:01.903

2

18. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 2:02.681

26

19. Melville McKee Bamboo Engineering 2:03.899

7

20. Nick Cassidy Marussia Manor Racing 2:07.770

5

21. Alex Fontana Jenzer Motorsport 2:22.905

5

22. Carmen Jorda Bamboo Engineering

7

23. Robert Visoiu MW Arden

9

24. Daniil Kvyat MW Arden

2

25. Samin Gomez Jenzer Motorsport

6

26. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport

27. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing

3