Sgp3-carlogotatus Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims fastest in Germany

British driver Alexander Sims (Status Grand Prix) topped the opening session of Round 4 of the GP3 Series on his return to GP3. Carlin’s Eric Lichtenstein and Marussia Manor Racing’s Dino Zamparelli were second and third.

The 27 drivers fed onto the Nurburgring circuit with warm temperatures and a dry track. Many of the drivers list Nurburgring as one of their favourite tracks to drive with a selection of them making their first appearance at this track and using the 45 minute session wisely to learn the challenges of the German circuit.

Carlos Sainz (MW Arden) was first to exit the pitlane, with the Spaniard topping the timesheets within the first 15 minutes. His teammate Daniil Kvyat and Lewis Williamson (Bamboo Engineering) kept him on his toes, the trio regularly swapping positions for the head of the timings.

Koiranen GP’s Kevin Korjus was first to break into the 1m46’s with Melville McKee (Bamboo Engineering) into P2. Aaro Vainio ran wide over the kerbs which sent the Finn into a spin, though he was able to recover without damage. Williamson was again on the pace and flew into the 1m45’s with the majority of the pack pitting with 10 minutes left on the clock. Some drivers opted for new rubber with the Medium compound this weekend, whilst others used scrubbed tyres from the previous round.

The Scotsman re-enforced his position at the top of the timings, improving on his own lap but the times were to tumble in the final three minutes with Jack Harvey (ART Grand Prix), Zamparelli and Lichtenstein all snatching P1. It was to be Sims’ day though as he set the fastest time as the chequered flag was waved. The Status Grand Prix driver has returned for a one-off round to replace Adderly Fong.

Sims claimed P1, ahead of Lichtenstein, Zamparelli, Harvey, Williamson, Nick Yelloly (Carlin), Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing), Carlin’s Luis Sa Silva and the Trident pair of David Fumanelli and Giovanni Venturini.

Qualifying takes place at 09.45 CET tomorrow morning and this will be vital with the Series reaching the midway point of the season as the title chase is on.

Free Practice

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Alexander Sims Status Grand Prix 1:45.208

20

2. Eric Lichtenstein Carlin 1:45.348

19

3. Dino Zamparelli Marussia Manor Racing 1:45.531

19

4. Jack Harvey ART Grand Prix 1:45.707

16

5. Lewis Williamson Bamboo Engineering 1:45.812

19

6. Nick Yelloly Carlin 1:45.829

17

7. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 1:45.928

18

8. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1:46.148

19

9. David Fumanelli Trident 1:46.487

19

10. Giovanni Venturini Trident 1:46.590

20

11. Alex Fontana Jenzer Motorsport 1:46.596

13

12. Kevin Korjus Koiranen GP 1:46.635

14

13. Daniil Kvyat MW Arden 1:46.651

18

14. Melville McKee Bamboo Engineering 1:46.792

18

15. Samin Gomez Jenzer Motorsport 1:46.802

19

16. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 1:46.832

15

17. Jimmy Eriksson Status Grand Prix 1:46.855

19

18. Robert Visoiu MW Arden 1:47.097

18

19. Emanuele Zonzini Trident 1:47.101

19

20. Carlos Sainz MW Arden 1:47.143

17

21. Facu Regalia ART Grand Prix 1:47.148

15

22. Conor Daly ART Grand Prix 1:47.267

17

23. Aaro Vainio Koiranen GP 1:47.421

16

24. Josh Webster Status Grand Prix 1:47.866

18

25. Patrick Kujala Koiranen GP 1:47.871

12

26. Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing 1:48.456

20

27. Carmen Jorda Bamboo Engineering 1:50.188

19