GP3 Series leader Alex Lynn topped the forty-five minute Free Practice session in Spielberg, Austria. His fellow Carlin rookie teammate Emil Bernstorff finished second fastest ahead of Nick Yelloly (Status Grand Prix).
The Red Bull Ring is a brand new venue on the GP3 calendar with the majority of drivers making their debut on the circuit. The session commenced under threatening skies after some light rain had fell earlier in the day. Arden International’s Robert Visoiu and Richie Stanaway (Status Grand Prix) were first to lead the drivers onto the track.
Lynn held top spot on the timesheet – lapping in the 1m22’s early on but after ten minutes into the session, it was red flagged following an incident for Trident’s Roman De Beer. The South African rookie ran wide over the kerb on the last corner which sent his car straight across the start/finish line – resulting in light contact with the wall. De Beer was uninjured and climbed out of his car as the clock ticked down while his machine was recovered.
Stanaway rose to P1 once the session resumed but it was only for a few seconds as Lynn improved on the Kiwi’s time. With around fifteen minutes remaining, the drivers returned to pitlane for a fresh set of Pirelli rubber. Bernstorff shot to P2, a mere 0.032s off his teammate and the duo became locked into a battle to see who would end up heading the timings.
The Carlin pair switched positions at least three times in the final moments but it was Barcelona race winner Lynn who set a flier to become the only driver to lap in the 1m20s, with a half a second advantage over his next competitor: Bernstorff.
Yelloly clocked the third quickest time in Free Practice ahead of Santiago Urrutia, debutant Riccardo Agostini with Hilmer Motorsport, Nelson Mason, Patrick Kujala, Visoiu, Alfonso Celis. Jr and Dino Zamparelli.
Qualifying takes place at 09.45 am local time tomorrow morning, with changeable conditions likely – it promises to be a very important session.
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Alex Lynn Carlin 1:20.583 22
2. Emil Bernstorff Carlin 1:21.125 22
3. Nick Yelloly Status Grand Prix 1:21.132 21
4. Santiago Urrutia Koiranen GP 1:21.287 18
5. Riccardo Agostini Hilmer Motorsport 1:21.351 20
6. Nelson Mason Hilmer Motorsport 1:21.371 23
7. Patrick Kujala Marussia Manor Racing 1:21.390 22
8. Robert Visoiu Arden International 1:21.411 21
9. Alfonso Celis. Jr Status Grand Prix 1:21.460 22
10. Dino Zamparelli ART Grand Prix 1:21.473 20
11. Mathéo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1:21.481 19
12. Dean Stoneman Marussia Manor Racing 1:21.497 22
13. Marvin Kirchhöfer ART Grand Prix 1:21.548 20
14. Patric Niederhauser Arden International 1:21.658 22
15. Jann Mardenborough Arden International 1:21.905 21
16. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:21.952 19
17. Alex Fontana ART Grand Prix 1:21.953 19
18. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1:22.026 22
19. Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1:22.269 20
20. Adderly Fong Jenzer Motorsport 1:22.295 22
21. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1:23.021 18
22. Nikolay Martsenko Hilmer Motorsport 1:23.403 20
23. Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing 1:23.656 22
24. Roman De Beer Trident 1:23.902 7
25. Victor Carbone Trident 1:24.462 18
26. Carmen Jorda Koiranen GP 1:24.687 20