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Davide Valsecchi quickest on Day 2

Italian ace remains top in Jerez


By Olivier Ferret

29 February 2012 - 18:05
Davide Valsecchi quickest on Day (...)

Davide Valsecchi confirmed his good form setting the quickest laptime of Day 2 in the 2012 pre-season testing in Jerez. The DAMS driver clocked 1:24.783 in the morning session and left the rest of the field with the task to find the extra pace to try and close the gap with the mighty Italian.

The morning session was quickly interrupted by a red flag after rookie Felipe Nasr pushed the limits on cold tyres and ended up in the gravel bed. At the restart, Esteban Gutiérrez set the pace with a 1:26.625, but a second red flag stopped the proceedings again. This time, it was GP3 graduate Nigel Melker who lost control of his Ocean Racing car. His day ended prematurely following the damage done on his nachine after contact with the barrier. When the track went live again, Max Chilton put in a good lap three tenths quicker than Gutiérrez and moved to P1. The quick duo from iSport then had their turn to shine at the top of the timesheet, Marcus Ericsson becoming the first driver to break the 1m26s barrier this week.

The lap after James Calado went quickest, his Mexican teammate improved again and reclaimed the position heading the timesheets. In what felt like a qualifying session for some drivers, it was Valsecchi who settled the argument, setting a blazing laptime of 1:24.967. He improved another two tenths for good measure and would remain unbeaten until the chequered flag. Gutiérrez held onto P2 ahead of Chilton, Stefano Coletti, Jolyon Palmer, Ericsson, Dani Clos, Fabio Onidi, Calado and Fabio Leimer.

The afternoon session was mostly about race simulations for the teams. Proceedings were stopped in the opening ten minutes after Tom Dillmann suffered from a gearbox problem which ended his programme with Ocean Racing. At the restart, Luiz Razia set the early pace ahead of Simon Trummer and Nasr. A second red flag interrupted the session: Nathanaël Berthon lost control of his Racing Engineering machine and stopped in the gravel bed.

The remainder of the session saw drivers doing long runs and Valsecchi topping the timesheets again with a laptime of 1:26.648. He stayed unchallenged for most of the afternoon. And just as Giedo van der Garde put his Caterham Racing car on top, a final red flag caused by Julian Leal whose machine stopped on the track in the dying minutes stopped the proceedings again. The session wasn’t restarted as the clock had counted down to zero, therefore preventing any further chance for drivers to improve on their lap times.

The final testing day in Jerez will resume tomorrow at 9am local time. Kevin Ceccon will replace Tom Dillmann at Ocean Racing whilst the Frenchman will move to Rapax swapping with Daniel de Jong.

Morning session

1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:24.783 32
2. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus GP 1:25.193 30
3. Max Chilton Carlin 1:25.294 26
4. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:25.358 29
5. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:25.359 24
6. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:25.374 27
7. Dani Clos Rapax 1:25.467 18
8. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:25.505 27
9. James Calado Lotus GP 1:25.569 25
10. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:25.845 29
11. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:25.893 20
12. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:25.903 39
13. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:26.006 33
14. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:26.017 35
15. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:26.049 38
16. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:26.128 27
17. Tom Dillmann Ocean Racing Technology 1:26.177 29
18. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:26.351 28
19. Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:26.477 23
20. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:26.545 30
21. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:26.551 16
22. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:26.648 23
23. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:26.665 18
24. Rodolgo Gonzalez Catheram Racing 1:26.707 32
25. Daniel de Jong Rapax 1:26.712 31
26. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:41.035 2

Afternoon Session

1. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:26.270 32
2. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:26.648 28
3. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:26.656 21
4. Dani Clos Rapax 1:26.838 18
5. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:26.931 28
6. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:27.002 28
7. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:27.097 23
8. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:27.320 28
9. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:27.349 27
10. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:27.451 21
11. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:27.496 33
12. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:27.537 10
13. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:27.561 19
14. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:27.680 29
15. Daniel De Jong Rapax 1:27.801 18
16. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:28.398 36
17. Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:28.639 24
18. Tom Dillmann Ocean Racing Technology 1:28.656 3
19. Max Chilton Carlin 1:28.999 35
20. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:29.146 41
21. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:29.449 22
22. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:29.629 25
23. James Calado Lotus GP 1:29.847 47
24. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:29.866 35
25. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:30.547 26


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