Slovakian rookie leads Jenzer Motorsport one-two
Richard Gonda set the marker in today’s opening session of Round 1 of the 2016 GP3 Series season in Barcelona, Spain. The Slovakian set a best laptime of 1:37.032 in changeable conditions. His Jenzer Motorsport teammate Akash Nandy was second, ahead of ART Grand Prix’s Nyck de Vries.
The forty-five minute session got underway at the Circuit de Catalunya with light rain falling. Some drivers took to the track on slicks whilst others preferred the wet Pirelli rubber. It was a pretty quiet first half of the session with the rain continuing to fall: almost all of the drivers opted to remain in the pitlane to see if conditions improved.
At the midway point, Koiranen GP’s Mahaveer Raghunathan went fastest ahead of Campos Racing’s Steijn Schothorst. Only five drivers posted a laptime in the first 30 minutes but as the sky brightened briefly, more drivers took to the track.
DAMS and Haas F1 development driver Santino Ferrucci was first to lap into the 1m37s until ART’s Nirei Fukuzumi bettered his time. However, the American found some extra pace on his next lap to reclaim P1. Artur Janosz who had just clocked the sixth best time had a small moment at Turn 1 when he the lost the rear of his Trident machine and spun. The Pole was able to continue.
Gonda then shot to the top of the timesheet with five minutes remaining and was joined by Nandy – the Malaysian debutant lapping one tenth shy of his teammate. In the dying minutes, Campos Racing’s Konstantin Tereshchenko ran wide into the gravel and made contact with the barrier. The Russian jumped out of his car and the session was not re-started.
Behind Gonda and Nandy at the flag were de Vries, Charles Leclerc, Tereshchenko, Ferrucci, Alex Palou, Alexander Albon, Jake Hughes and Janosz.
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The first qualifying session of the 2016 season will take place tomorrow at 09.45 local time (GMT+2).

Free Practice

Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Richard Gonda
Jenzer Motorsport
1:37.032
11
2.
Akash Nandy
Jenzer Motorsport
1:37.202
12
3.
Nyck de Vries
ART Grand Prix
1:37.279
9
4.
Charles Leclerc
ART Grand Prix
1:37.378
8
5.
Konstantin Tereshchenko
Campos Racing
1:37.460
10
6.
Santino Ferrucci
DAMS
1:37.481
9
7.
Alex Palou
Campos Racing
1:37.550
8
8.
Alexander Albon
ART Grand Prix
1:37.554
8
9.
Jake Hughes
DAMS
1:37.620
9
10.
Artur Janosz
Trident
1:37.623
7
11.
Steijn Schothorst
Campos Racing
1:37.691
9
12.
Ralph Boschung
Koiranen GP
1:37.723
9
13.
Nirei Fukuzumi
ART Grand Prix
1:37.732
9
14.
Oscar Tunjo
Jenzer Motorsport
1:37.803
9
15.
Matthew Parry
Koiranen GP
1:37.836
18
16.
Jack Aitken
Arden International
1:37.987
8
17.
Kevin Jörg
DAMS
1:38.248
8
18.
Antonio Fuoco
Trident
1:38.331
7
19.
Jake Dennis
Arden International
1:38.424
6
20.
Tatiana Calderon
Arden International
1:38.483
7
21.
Giuliano Alesi
Trident
1:38.605
7
22.
Matevos Isaakyan
Koiranen GP
1:40.103
6
23.
Mahaveer Raghunathan
Koiranen GP
1:40.283
11
24.
Sandy Stuvik
Trident
1:41.468
5