Evans leads the way in Round 1 free practice

RT RUSSIAN TIME driver quickest in Sakhir

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By Olivier Ferret

4 April 2014 - 12:25
Evans leads the way in Round 1 free (...)

The tenth season of the GP2 Series opened today at Bahrain International Circuit in windy conditions on a dirty track. It was Mitch Evans who ended the forty-five minute free practice session on top with a laptime of 1:42.062, a mere 0.06s quicker than rookie Stoffel Vandoorne.

As the pitlane opened, the DAMS duo was the first one to take to the track. With all twenty-six drivers having tested for three days on this track a few days ago, the opening minutes of the session were relatively quiet seeing mainly installation laps on Pirelli Hard tyres.

Conor Daly set a first significant laptime, but rookie Arthur Pic went three tenths quicker to claim the top spot. On the ten minutes’ mark, Evans set the final two sectors in purple and, although his lap was not totally clean as the New Zealander struggled with a lack of grip at Turn 13, he clocked in a laptime fast enough to go top, six tenths better than then P2 Daniiel De Jong.

The remainder of the session saw the rest of the field trying to close the gap to Evans. In the final stages, newcomers Vandoorne and Raffaele Marciello swapped second place, but it was eventually the Belgian driver who managed to put together a laptime a hairsbreadth away from Evans’. With two minutes left on the clock, De Jong stopped at turn 2 which brought out a red flag and an early end to the session.

Behind Evans and Vandoorne, Marciello, Daniel Abt, Stéphane Richelmi, Rio Haryanto, André Negrao, Jolyon Palmer, Simon Trummer and Daly rounded up the top ten. But this pecking order could change tonight during the qualifying session which will take place at 8pm (local time) under the lights of the Bahrain International Circuit.

PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:42.062 11
2. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:42.124 12
3. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:42.269 13
4. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:42.319 10
5. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:42.373 12
6. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:42.388 12
7. André Negrao Arden International 1:42.507 12
8. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:42.533 12
9. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:42.553 13
10. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:42.574 14
11. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:42.606 11
12. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:42.607 12
13. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:42.629 11
14. Daniiel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:42.653 14
15. Julian Leal Carlin 1:42.664 12
16. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:42.707 11
17. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:42.959 13
18. Johnny Cecotto Trident Racing 1:42.984 12
19. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:42.997 11
20. Rene Binder Arden International 1:43.071 11
21. Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:43.076 11
22. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:43.307 12
23. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 1:43.547 13
24. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:43.815 10
25. Axcil Jefferies Trident 1:43.842 16
26. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:44.243 11

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