British driver Nick Yelloly led the way in the forty-five minute Free Practice session at the Silverstone circuit for the third round of the 2014 GP3 Series. The Status Grand Prix ace set the best laptime with a 1:47.504 to finish ahead of the ART Grand Prix duo of Dino Zamparelli and Marvin Kirchhöfer.
The session was run under cloudy skies with blustery conditions with Trident’s new driver Mitchell Gilbert from Australia first to take to the track. Another rookie was also making their GP3 debut, German Sebastian Balthasar driving for Hilmer Motorsport.
Riccardo Agostini was first to lap into the 1m49’s before Zamparelli went two tenths faster. At the midway point of the session, Zamparelli led Agostini, Kirchhöfer, Yelloly and Emil Bernstorff. As the drivers pitted for a new set of Pirelli rubber, Mathéo Tuscher (Jenzer Motorsport) and Jimmy Eriksson (Status Grand Prix) topped the timings before Agostini rose back up to P2.
Kirchhöfer shot to P1 lapping half a second faster than the Italian rookie until Zamparelli bettered his time, again by another half a second margin to break into the 1m47’s barrier. Marussia Manor Racing’s Dean Stoneman ran wide over the kerb on the exit of turn 15 which sent his car into a spin at high speed and the Brit made contact with the barrier. The session was red flagged as Stoneman climbed out of his car as the clock ticked down, while debris and his car was cleared away.
There were four minutes left remaining of free practice as the cars queued in the pitlane and it Yelloly who made the most of it, shooting to the head of the timesheet and ending the day on top. At the chequered flag it was Yelloly, Zamparelli, Kirchhöfer, Bernstorff, Jann Mardenborough, Alex Fontana, Patrick Kujala, Celis.Jr, Tuscher and Roman De Beer.
Qualifying takes place at 08.45 am local time tomorrow morning and with potential rain forecast– it promises to be a very important and challenging session.
Free Practice – Silverstone
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Nick Yelloly Status Grand Prix 1:47.504 16
2. Dino Zamparelli ART Grand Prix 1:47.798 15
3. Marvin Kirchhöfer ART Grand Prix 1:47.934 16
4. Emil Bernstorff Carlin 1:48.137 15
5. Jann Mardenborough Arden International 1:48.199 14
6. Alex Fontana ART Grand Prix 1:48.244 15
7. Patrick Kujala Marussia Manor Racing 1:48.316 14
8. Alfonso Celis. Jr Status Grand Prix 1:48.518 15
9. Mathéo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1:48.586 11
10. Roman De Beer Trident 1:48.605 15
11. Alex Lynn Carlin 1:48.706 12
12. Adderly Fong Jenzer Motorsport 1:48.840 14
13. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:48.918 11
14. Robert Visoiu Arden International 1:48.949 16
15. Luis Sa Silva Carlin 1:49.133 13
16. Riccardo Agostini Hilmer Motorsport 1:49.283 15
17. Nelson Mason Hilmer Motorsport 1:49.366 14
18. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1:49.428 11
19. Mitchell Gilbert Trident 1:49.812 14
20. Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing 1:49.934 17
21. Patric Niederhauser Arden International 1:50.124 15
22. Victor Carbone Trident 1:50.555 16
23. Dean Stoneman Marussia Manor Racing 1:50.604 9
24. Santiago Urrutia Koiranen GP 1:51.414 12
25. Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1:52.349 14
26. Sebastian Balthasar Hilmer Motorsport 1:52.697 16
27. Carmen Jorda Koiranen GP 1:55.008 13