Racing Engineering man tops first pre-season test day at Sakhir

The second GP2 Series pre-season test session opened today at Bahrain International Circuit on a dusty track and in hot temperatures. This week, the teams and drivers will be busy preparing for the 2015 season which sees the introduction of the DRS. Pirelli have selected the Hard and Soft compounds for the three days.

The field remains mostly unchanged with only two new faces joining Hilmer Motorsport this week: GP3 graduate Nick Yelloly partners GP2 returnee Nigel Melker. The last change compared to the first pre-season test session line up sees Sergio Canamasas move to MP Motorsport.

When the pitlane went green, the cars fed onto the track for installation laps. It was rookie Nobuharu Matsushita who set the early pace until André Negrao topped the timing sheets one hour into the session. His laptime was bettered by one tenth by Sergio Canamasas (who moved to MP Motorsport for this week’s session). It was a rather quiet morning as the temperatures kept on rising. With one hour left on the clock, Nathanaël Berthon moved up to P1, but Marco Sorensen went two hundredths quicker to take the top spot. In the final thirty minutes, rookie Norman Nato edged the Carlin man out, but Mitch Evans improved further and topped the timesheet with a laptime of 1:42.479, one tenth better than the Frenchman. At the chequered flag, behind Evans and Nato, Sorensen finished third ahead of Berthon, Julian Leal, Stoffel Vandoorne, Canamasas, Alexander Rossi, Negrao and Pierre Gasly.

The afternoon session kicked off in scorching heat and with Vandoorne first out on track. Arthur Pic set the early pace before Lynn went quickest. At the one hour mark, Jordan King claimed the top spot going four tenths faster than fellow countryman Lynn. With one hour left on the clock, Nato dipped under 1m42s, but Sorensen improved further and went top before Nato found some extra pace to reclaim P1. Thirty minutes before the chequered flag, King was back on top with a laptime of 1:41.494 – two tenths better than the Arden man. In the dying minutes, the proceedings were halted after Evans stopped at Turn 3. The session was not restarted and King ended up on top ahead of Evans, Sergey Sirotkin (who moved up to third on his last attempt), Nato, Vandoorne, Sorensen, Leal, Berthon, Gasly and Artem Markelov.

Tomorrow’s morning session will start at 09.00, local time.

Morning results*
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1:42.479 10
2. Norman Nato Arden International 1:42.653 22
3. Marco Sorensen Carlin 1:42.689 14
4. Nathanaël Berthon Lazarus 1:42.712 16
5. Julian Leal Carlin 1:42.728 4
6. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:42.779 35
7. Sergio Canamasas MP Motorsport 1:42.800 14
8. Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1:42.801 10
9. Andre Negrao Arden International 1:42.953 26
10. Pierre Gasly DAMS 1:43.015 10
11. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:43.016 7
12. Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 1:43.042 22
13. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:43.101 16
14. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:43.226 3
15. Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1:43.347 18
16. Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1:43.357 14
17. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:43.391 16
18. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:43.455 14
19. Raffaele Marciello Trident 1:43.766 14
20. Robert Visoiu Rapax 1:43.826 14
21. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:43.876 19
22. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:44.022 10
23 Zoel Amberg Lazarus 1:44.333 28
24. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:44.392 26
25. Rene Binder Trident 1:44.416 10

Afternoon results*
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Jordan King Racing Engineering 1:41.494 20
2. Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1:41.608 14
3. Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1:41.636 12
4. Norman Nato Arden International 1:41.755 16
5. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:41.851 22
6. Marco Sorensen Carlin 1:41.861 16
7. Julian Leal Carlin 1:41.985 13
8. Nathanaël Berthon Lazarus 1:42.004 13
9. Pierre Gasly DAMS 1:42.015 14
10. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:42.038 13
11. Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1:42.201 20
12. Daniel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:42.301 9
13. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:42.301 14
14. Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1:42.365 22
15. Raffaele Marciello Trident 1:42.431 9
16. Alex Lynn DAMS 1:42.461 11
17. Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 1:42.608 18
18. Robert Visoiu Rapax 1:42.628 11
19. André Negrao Arden International 1:42.700 10
20. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:43.181 19
21. Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1:43.207 15
22. Zoel Amberg Lazarus 1:43.383 17
23. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1:43.398 13
24. Rene Binder Trident 1:43.902 6
25. Sergio Canamasas MP Motorsport 1:44.630 8

*Nigel Melker is expected to test for Hilmer Motorsport on Days 2 and 3.