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GP3 Pre-Season Testing (Silverstone, March 30th)

April 1, 2011

GP3 were on the full Silverstone today.

On the second day of GP3 testing around Silverstone’s Arena circuit, it was Gabby Chaves who ran the quickest around the Northamptonshire venue. 

Following a 34 lap stint, the Addax driver topped the morning with a best of 1:50.799, finishing one-tenth ahead of MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson.
Early pace setters Michael Christensen (RSC Mücke) and Nico Müller (Jenzer Motorsport) both completed 31 laps; all the while clocking up best laps two-tenths off of Chaves’ pace.
Second RSC Mücke entry Nigel Melker also broke into the top-five with a quick run of 1:51.082 at the opening session’s midpoint. Alexander Sims fell to 6th, albeit only 0.003 of-a-second behind Melker.

Simon Trummer (7th, MW Arden) and James Calado (8th , Lotus ART) were the busiest runners of the morning. Trummer ramped up 38 laps, while Calado was a single lap shy.
Impressive young Kiwi, Mitch Evans took 9th spot, just over four-tenths down on Chaves. Atech CRS pilot Marlon Stockinger rounded out the top-ten with a best of 1:51.179 before lunch time.
It would prove to be a busy morning – with rain clouds gathering above, the 30 car field took to the track to garner as much track time as possible; however persistent red flags put their own dampener on the test.

The rain did indeed fall during the lunch break, leaving fast lap times stranded beyond the 2 minute mark for the duration of the afternoon.

Times slowly picked up as the session went on, but it was the stunning pace of Lewis Williamson that grasped the top spot. A best of 2:06.902 in dying minutes of the day gave the MW Arden driver an eight-tenths advantage over 2nd placed Alexander Sims.
Carlin’s Tom Dillmann swiped 3rd some eleven thousandths off of Sims, with Gabby Chaves settling for 4th in the damp conditions.

Valtteri Bottas’ (Lotus ART) secured a best nearly one second off of Williamson’s pace following his 37 lap session, with the Finn pipping Marussia Manor Racing youngster Rio Haryanto by a minuscule amount.
Mitch Evans was the first in the 2:08 bracket. The MW Arden driver took 7th after a 36 lap session, finishing ahead of Michael Christensen (8th), Conor Daly (9th, Carlin) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (10th, Marussia Manor Racing).

While some will have been disappointed that clouds drew in, for many this sort of wet testing is necessary. If a driver can build confidence in their respective machinery in difficult conditions, then the laps run through the afternoon can carry a great deal of value.

Today’s times:

Pos  Driver                     Team                       Time      Laps
 1.  Gabby Chaves               Addax Team                 1:50.799    34
 2.  Lewis Williamson           MW Arden                   1:50.894    24
 3.  Michael Christensen        RSC Mucke Motorsport       1:50.966    31
 4.  Nico Muller                Jenzer Motorsport          1:51.059    31
 5.  Nigel Melker               RSC Mucke Motorsport       1:51.082    26
 6.  Alexander Sims             Status Grand Prix          1:51.085    31
 7.  Simon Trummer              MW Arden                   1:51.127    38
 8.  James Calado               Lotus ART                  1:51.138    39
 9.  Mitch Evans                MW Arden                   1:51.154    25
10.  Marlon Stockinger          Atech CRS GP               1:51.179    34
11.  Valtteri Bottas            Lotus ART                  1:51.189    33
12.  Andrea Caldarelli          Tech 1 Racing              1:51.319    27
13.  Aaro Vainio                Tech 1 Racing              1:51.348    25
14.  Tamas Pal Kiss             Tech 1 Racing              1:51.387    19
15.  Antonio Felix Da Costa     Status Grand Prix          1:51.409    28
16.  Vittorio Ghirelli          Jenzer Motorsport          1:51.630    18
17.  Nick Yelloly               Atech CRS GP               1:51.635    19
18.  Rio Haryanto               Marussia Manor Racing      1:51.713    33
19.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs        Marussia Manor Racing      1:51.749    19
20.  Tom Dillmann               Carlin                     1:51.893    34
21.  Thomas Hylkema             Addax Team                 1:52.067    30
22.  Conor Daly                 Carlin                     1:52.111    29
23.  Pedro Nunes                Lotus ART                  1:52.134    30
24.  Willi Steindl              RSC Mucke Motorsport       1:52.195    36
25.  Ivan Lukashevich           Status Grand Prix          1:52.318    37
26.  Zoel Amberg                Atech CRS GP               1:52.526    32
27.  Maxim Zimin                Jenzer Motorsport          1:52.542    34
28.  Matias Laine               Marussia Manor Racing      1:52.595    15
29.  Fernando Monje             Addax Team                 1:52.704    34
30.  Kotaro Sakurai             Carlin                     1:54.141     8

Afternoon times

Pos  Driver                    Team                     Time        Laps
 1.  Lewis Williamson          MW Arden                 2:06.902      34
 2.  Alexander Sims            Status Grand Prix        2:07.708      37
 3.  Tom Dillmann              Carlin                   2:07.719      24
 4.  Gabby Chaves              Addax Team               2:07.782      34
 5.  Valtteri Bottas           Lotus ART                2:07.855      37
 6.  Rio Haryanto              Marussia Manor Racing    2:07.864      27
 7.  Mitch Evans               MW Arden                 2:08.073      36
 8.  Michael Christensen       RSC Mucke Motorsport     2:08.154      22
 9.  Conor Daly                Carlin                   2:08.156      39
10.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs       Marussia Manor Racing    2:08.401      26
11.  Matias Laine              Marussia Manor Racing    2:08.593      24
12.  Marlon Stockinger         Atech CRS GP             2:08.608      32
13.  Nick Yelloly              Atech CRS GP             2:08.667      36
14.  Tamas Pal Kiss            Tech 1 Racing            2:08.741      23
15.  Antonio Felix Da Costa    Status Grand Prix        2:08.869      36
16.  Nigel Melker              RSC Mucke Motorsport     2:09.181      31
17.  Zoel Amberg               Atech CRS GP             2:09.252      35
18.  Simon Trummer             MW Arden                 2:09.258      36
19.  Aaro Vainio               Tech 1 Racing            2:09.536      17
20.  James Calado              Lotus ART                2:09.737      24
21.  Ivan Lukashevich          Status Grand Prix        2:09.750      36
22.  Pedro Nunes               Lotus ART                2:09.823      38
23.  Maxim Zimin               Jenzer Motorsport        2:09.884      27
24.  Willi Steindl             RSC Mucke Motorsport     2:09.969      41
25.  Nico Muller               Jenzer Motorsport        2:10.294      22
26.  Fernando Monje            Addax Team               2:10.351      21
27.  Andrea Caldarelli         Tech 1 Racing            2:10.364      22
28.  Vittorio Ghirelli         Jenzer Motorsport        2:11.061      30
29.  Thomas Hylkema            Addax Team               2:12.279      27
30.  Kotaro Sakurai            Carlin                   2:12.403      16
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