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GP3 Pre-Season Testing (March 31st, Silverstone)

April 1, 2011

Silverstone Arena layout.

The final day of GP3 pre-season testing at Silverstone would see Lewis Williamson reach the top spot, only for his time to be smashed in the afternoon by Michael Christensen.

Admittedly, the drab conditions were hardly ideal for the morning, with a large chunk of the running on wet tyres.
Indeed, conditions were perilous enough to see several red flags appear throughout the session. However as the looming grey clouds dispersed, circuit conditions improved greatly; so much so that slick tyres were fitted in the run up to lunch.

With the seconds ticking away, Williamson in his MW Arden Dallara, swapped the top spot with Addax pilot Gabby Chaves, while Christensen (RS Mücke) trailed the pair. Eventually Williamson did take the head with a best of 1:52.963.
Mitch Evans also set a solid pace in the dying moments. The Kiwi completed 32 laps, although his best fell 0.618 short of Williamson. It was enough to give the MW Arden driver a three-tenths advantage over Conor Daly (Carlin).
Nigel Melker took 6th for RSC Mücke ahead of the final MW Arden driver, Simon Trummer. Marussia Manor Racing pair Matias Laine and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs secured 8th and 10th respectively, squeezing Carlin pilot Tom Dillmann.

The afternoon proved to be a big improvement, weather-wise, although gusty winds still played a factor for those on circuit.  Come the evening flag, it was Michael Christensen that took the biggest advantage, both in terms of speed and distance. The Dane completed 47 laps of the Arena circuit, notching up a best of 1:51.799.
Next up were Alexander Sims (Status GP) and Nico Muller (Jenzer Motorsport) – both ran up distances at the 41 lap mark, falling just over one-tenth shy of the pace setter.

Mitch Evans took 4th spot for the second time, just ahead of Rio Haryanto (5th, Marussia Manor Racing) and morning quick man Lewis Williamson (6th), while Simon Trummer settled for 7th following his 43 lap run.
Tech 1 Racing pairing Tamas P’al Kiss and Andrea Caldarelli took 8th and 9th respectively. Antonio Felix da Costa rounded up the top ten for Status GP.

The final day saw plenty of running from the field, averaging the 60 lap mark, despite the poor morning conditions, although a great deal of that was made in the afternoon.
Also encouraging is the closeness of the field in these tests. Although we have little insight as to the exact settings that each driver or team are running, it is still impressive that the top-ten are split by less than half-a-second.

Final pre-season tests for the GP3 series take place in Barcelona from April 12th-14, after which the Championship heads to Istanbul for the first of eight rounds.

Morning session:

Pos  Driver                  Team       Time       Gap
 1.  Lewis Williamson        MW Arden   1m52.963s
 2.  Gabby Chaves            Addax      1m53.073s  + 0.110s
 3.  Michael Christensen     RSC Mucke  1m53.176s  + 0.213s
 4.  Mitch Evans             MW Arden   1m53.581s  + 0.618s
 5.  Conor Daly              Carlin     1m53.934s  + 0.971s
 6.  Nigel Melker            RSC Mucke  1m53.943s  + 0.980s
 7.  Simon Trummer           MW Arden   1m54.023s  + 1.060s
 8.  Matias Laine            Manor      1m54.119s  + 1.156s
 9.  Tom Dillmann            Carlin     1m54.392s  + 1.429s
10.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs     Manor      1m54.659s  + 1.696s
11.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Status     1m54.801s  + 1.838s
12.  Valtteri Bottas         ART        1m54.922s  + 1.959s
13.  Maxim Zimin             Jenzer     1m55.070s  + 2.107s
14.  Vittorio Ghirelli       Jenzer     1m55.074s  + 2.111s
15.  James Calado            ART        1m55.149s  + 2.186s
16.  Alexander Sims          Status     1m55.385s  + 2.422s
17.  Aaro Vainio             Tech 1     1m55.406s  + 2.443s
18.  Simon Moss              Addax      1m55.913s  + 2.950s
19.  Tamas Pal Kiss          Tech 1     1m55.948s  + 2.985s
20.  Nico Muller             Jenzer     1m55.979s  + 3.016s
21.  Rio Haryanto            Manor      1m56.056s  + 3.093s
22.  Ivan Lukashevich        Status     1m56.166s  + 3.203s
23.  Pedro Nunes             ART        1m56.275s  + 3.312s
24.  Andrea Caldarelli       Tech 1     1m56.352s  + 3.389s
25.  Nick Yelloly            Atech CRS  1m56.399s  + 3.436s
26.  Zoel Amberg             Atech CRS  1m56.654s  + 3.691s
27.  Willi Steindl           RSC Mucke  1m56.832s  + 3.869s
28.  Marlon Stockinger       Atech CRS  1m57.132s  + 4.169s
29.  Thomas Hylkema          Addax      2m13.738s  + 20.775s
30.  Kotaro Sakurai          Carlin     2m14.291s  + 21.328s

Afternoon session:

Pos  Driver                  Team       Time       Gap
 1.  Michael Christensen     RSC Mucke  1m51.799s
 2.  Alexander Sims          Status     1m51.868s  + 0.069s
 3.  Nico Muller             Jenzer     1m51.967s  + 0.168s
 4.  Mitch Evans             MW Arden   1m51.973s  + 0.174s
 5.  Rio Haryanto            Manor      1m52.018s  + 0.219s
 6.  Lewis Williamson        MW Arden   1m52.063s  + 0.264s
 7.  Simon Trummer           MW Arden   1m52.077s  + 0.278s
 8.  Tamas Pal Kiss          Tech 1     1m52.147s  + 0.348s
 9.  Andrea Caldarelli       Tech 1     1m52.176s  + 0.377s
10.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Status     1m52.219s  + 0.420s
11.  Valtteri Bottas         ART        1m52.249s  + 0.450s
12.  Matias Laine            Manor      1m52.413s  + 0.614s
13.  Gabby Chaves            Addax      1m52.484s  + 0.685s
14.  Willi Steindl           RSC Mucke  1m52.539s  + 0.740s
15.  Aaro Vainio             Tech 1     1m52.597s  + 0.798s
16.  James Calado            ART        1m52.608s  + 0.809s
17.  Marlon Stockinger       Atech CRS  1m52.816s  + 1.017s
18.  Nick Yelloly            Atech CRS  1m52.821s  + 1.022s
19.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs     Manor      1m52.955s  + 1.156s
20.  Tom Dillmann            Carlin     1m52.969s  + 1.170s
21.  Maxim Zimin             Jenzer     1m52.980s  + 1.181s
22.  Ivan Lukashevich        Status     1m53.053s  + 1.254s
23.  Conor Daly              Carlin     1m53.153s  + 1.354s
24.  Zoel Amberg             Atech CRS  1m53.227s  + 1.428s
25.  Pedro Nunes             ART        1m53.750s  + 1.951s
26.  Vittorio Ghirelli       Jenzer     1m53.850s  + 2.051s
27.  Simon Moss              Addax      1m54.223s  + 2.424s
28.  Kotaro Sakurai          Carlin     1m54.330s  + 2.531s
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