Pastor Maldonado ended both three testing days at the top of the timing sheet in Le Castellet. He clocked in a best laptime of 1:09.784 this afternoon. This last day was also marked by rookies’ strong performances starting with Jules Bianchi who claimed this morning’s top spot.
In a drying morning session on a 2D short configuration track and using soft tyres, ART placed their rookie duo at the top of the timing sheet, Jules Bianchi half a tenth quicker than Sam Bird. Behind the two men, Oliver Turvey had came in third, but his times were later deleted after his iSport car was found underweight, along with Dams’ Ho-Pin Tung. It was thus newcomer Christian Vietoris at Racing Engineering who ended up with the third best laptime of the session ahead of Rapax’ Pastor Maldonado. Unable to complete one lap yesterday afternoon following an unfortunate crash at the pitlane exit, rookie Marcus Ericsson from Super Nova ended in fifth place ahead of Dani Clos, Jérôme d’Ambrosio, Charles Pic, Sergio Perez and Alberto Valerio.
In the afternoon, stopped by six red flags, the young guns kept on showing strong form: Super Nova’s Josef Kral dominated for most of the session until Vietoris took control of the field with one hour left on the clock while Maldonado moved up to P2. The last red flag was caused by a collision between Ericsson and Adrian Zaugg fifteen minutes before the end. When the session was green lighted again, the remainder of the pack got back into action and saw Maldonado claim the top spot in the last two minutes, one tenth quicker than Bianchi. Both men lapped the track in less than 1m10s. Ocean’s Fabio Leimer finished third ahead of Vietoris, Bird, Kral, Ericsson, Cecotto, Clos and van der Garde.
The GP2 paddock will gather again in two weeks in Barcelona for the final pre-season collective test on April 7, 8 and 9.