Max Chilton fastest in GP2 practice at Monza

Chilton leads the way as the penultimate GP2 race weekend gets underway

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7 September 2012 - 12:41

Max Chilton has ended practice for this weekend’s penultimate GP2 races fastest for Carlin. The rising British star was followed home by the DAMS of series rookie Felipe Nasr, with GP2 returnee Luca Filippi ending the 30 minute session 3rd fastest, after an impressive return to GP2 since his last race a whole year ago at Monza.

The session started under glorious sunshine at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, as Esteban Gutierrez led out the traditional long queue of awaiting cars to the track. The Mexican driver, who yesterday unveiled the new generation GP3 car, set the initial pace with a 01:42.930. This rather slow time was immediately smashed by Luca Filippi, who wasted no time in getting up to racing speeds as the local driver set a 01:36.875. Esteban Gutierrez immediately replied with an even quicker 01:34.243, as the times quickly began to tumble as more and more drivers took to the track.

James Calado then pipped his team-mate to the top of the timing sheets, with a 01:33.999, as the Ocean Racing Technology driver of Victor Guerin ran deep at turns 4 and 5 after making a slight mistake upon entering the chicane. Max Chilton then asserted his authority over proceedings, ousting fellow countryman James Calado with a 01:33.683. Former race winners Giedo van der Garde and Esteban Gutierrez then went fastest respectively, before Luca Filippi stormed to the top with a 01:33.116.

Julian Leal almost collided with the DAMS of Felipe Nasr on the run down to turn 4, with the Colombian driver taking evasive action and narrowly avoiding the rear of the Brazilian’s car. Whilst Leal and Nasr tussled for track position, Marcus Ericsson went fastest with a 01:32.410. Max Chilton then returned to the top with a 01:31.850, reasserting his authority over the practice session.

The session ended in dramatic fashion, as James Calado and Rodolfo Gonzalez both spun in separate incidences. The Briton spun on the exit of turn 10, and lightly tapped the retaining barrier, ending his session. Gonzalez in the Caterham spun throughout the long final corner, bringing the session to a conclusion with the yellow flags throughout the final sector preventing anyone from improving.

The GP2 paddock will now be crunching the numbers ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session, which will determine the grid for tomorrow’s penultimate feature race around the historic Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Luca Filippi won last season at Monza, and has certainly not lost any of his competitiveness this season.

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PosDriverTeamLaptimeLaps
1. Max Chilton Carlin 1:31.850 14
2. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:32.263 15
3. Luca Filippi Scuderia Coloni 1:32.391 15
4. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:32.401 14
5. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:32.410 13
6. Giedo van der Garde Catherham Racing 1:32.463 13
7. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus GP 1:32.571 15
8. Stefano Coletti Rapax 1:32.692 16
9. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:32.830 14
10. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:32.834 14
11. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:32.950 15
12. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:32.954 15
13. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:32.961 14
14. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:32.982 15
15. James Calado Lotus GP 1:33.058 11
16. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:33.084 14
17. Stephane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:33.147 14
18. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:33.149 14
19 Sergio Canamasas Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:33.352 13
20. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:33.471 14
21. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:33.677 10
22. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:33.696 16
23. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:33.780 12
24. Victor Guerin Ocean Racing Technology 1:33.940 14
25. Rene Binder Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:33.977 15
26. Jake Rosenzweig Barwa Addax Team 1:34.518 12

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