Valsecchi quickest again

DAMS racer fastest on final test day in Jerez


By Franck Drui

1 March 2012 - 17:17
Valsecchi quickest again

Davide Valsecchi was quickest again today in Jerez in an eventful test session. The DAMS driver set his best laptime of 1:25.567 early in the day. His closest rival, Stefano Coletti, ended one tenth behind the Italian.

For the final day of testing it was James Calado at Lotus GP who set the early pace but his time was soon bettered by Giedo van der Garde who clocked 1:26.053, a mere two hundredths quicker than Tom Dillmann testing at Rapax today. The proceedings were stopped thirty minutes into the session after a piece of curb came away from the track. As it took approximately 45 minutes to repair, since the day’s schedule was to run from 9am to 12pm, with a one hour break and then run again from 1pm till 4pm, it was decided that the session would run without any break until 4pm.

At the restart, Davide Valsecchi quickly topped the timesheets and was the first driver to break the 1m26s. He was soon imitated by Max Chilton, van der Garde, Marcus Ericsson and Coletti. Another red flag interrupted proceedings after Esteban Gutierrez stopped in the gravel bed at Turn 1. Minutes after the track went live again, Fabrizio Crestani caused another halt after he lost control of his Venezuela GP Lazarus car.

The session was green flagged again and Coletti pushed to close the gap with Valsecchi and moved up to P2, one tenth behind the Italian. A fourth red flag brought caused the session to have another enforced break: Fabio Leimer stopped at Turn 1 in the gravel. When the track went live again, Gutiérrez was quickly on the pace and moved up to P3.

The remainder of the day ran smoothly as teams readjusted their programmes to the new schedule. Most drivers did race simulations along with pitstop practices. A final red flag stopped proceedings fifteen minutes before the end of the session after Kevin Ceccon lost control of his Ocean Racing car. Valsecchi retained P1 at the chequered flag ahead of Coletti, Gutiérrez, van der Garde (who with 96 laps covered the greatest distance today), Chilton, Ericsson, Dillmann, Calado, Nigel Melker and Jolyon Palmer.

This concluded the first three-day pre-season test. Next week, the GP2 paddock will set up camp in Barcelona for the last test session before the opening round of the 2012 season in Sepang, Malaysia. The twenty-six cars will run for three days at Circuit de Catalunya from Tuesday to Thursday.

1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:25.567 69
2. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:25.670 73
3. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:25.725 81
4. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:25.742 96
5. Max Chilton Carlin 1:25.801 70
6. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:25.940 55
7. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1:26.003 47
8. James Calado Lotus GP 1:26.046 75
9. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:26.082 79
10. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:26.126 67
11. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:26.127 58
12. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:26.148 63
13. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:26.148 55
14. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:26.213 51
15. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:26.342 56
16. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:26.350 69
17. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:26.361 66
18. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:26.369 59
19. Dani Clos Rapax 1:26.453 54
20. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:26.466 70
21. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:26.611 70
22. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:26.747 40
23. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:26.749 74
24. Kevin Ceccon Ocean Racing Technology 1:26.761 55
25. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:26.958 60
26. Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:27.143 57


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