“Rossi heads tops day one of GP2 Bahrain test”
Caterham racer Alexander Rossi topped the timesheets on the opening day of the final pre-season GP2 Series test in Bahrain.
The American had notched a top six placing in the morning, before launching himself to the top of the standings as the final half-hour drew.
Rossi’s time of 1:40.604s placed him just 0.012s ahead of Hilmer Motorsport driver Daniel Abt, after the latter ran quickest during the morning session.
The Caterham driver only recorded thirteen laps in the opening part of the day, before solidly laying down another 30 tours before the chequered flag made its final appearance.
For Abt, it was a strong day with 43 laps – a solid distance as he settles into his new surroundings at Hilmer.
Jolyon Palmer was an early pacesetter on a dusty Sakhir circuit, with the Englishman sharing the top spot with Kimiya Sato, Daniel de Jong, Julian Leal, Facu Regalia and Mitch Evans all sharing the top spot, before Rio Haryanto and Felipe Nasr broke into the early 1:41s.
As the clock ran down, Arthur Pic made a dash for the top spot, only to be denied by the speedy Abt.
The competitive nature of the test continued into the afternoon, with Stoffel Vandoorne, Stephane Richelmi, Nasr and Raffaele Marciello all setting a fast pace.
As the PM session continued, drivers began to break the 1:41 margin, with Venezuela GP Lazarus driver Conor Daly making his presence felt with a 1:40.734 lap. Eventually Rossi climbed to the top of the order, with Abt just shy of the American and Evans in 3rd fronting Daly.
Both Takuya Izawa and Simon Trummer brought out red flags during the morning.