On a warm clear day, Kevin Magnussen proved himself quickest during British Formula 3 practice running at Paul Ricard.
The Dane pipped teammate Felipe Nasr to the top spot by one-tenth of-a-second, after the Brazilian headed the morning session.
Although Nasr did not improve on his time during the afternoon, Magnussen shaved off nearly a second thanks mainly to a first session cursed by a spin, a puncture and several over technical issues.
By the close of the day, Magnussen’s best of 2:00.969 was enough to stamp his authority.
GP3 regular Antonio Felix da Costa returned for another weekend of British F3 action. The Hitech man assumed 2nd in the morning, but fell to 3rd, despite gaining half-a-second as the temperatures rose during the day.
Da Costa’s Hitech teammate, Pietro Fantin proved to be 4th quickest ahead of Carlin’s Rupert Svendsen-Cook (5th), who ran near the top of the sheets early on in the day.
Three more Carlin pilots followed. Carlos Huertas pipped improving rookie Jack Harvey to 6th by only 0.009 of-a-second, while Jazeman Jaafar registered 8th, some nine-tenths off the ultimate pace.
William Buller was the fastest Fortec runner, finishing the day 9th overall. The County Down native headed Championship challenger Lucas Foresti (10th) who ended the day one-tenth shy of Buller.
Foresti stayed ahead of T-Sport’s Menasheh Idafar by two-tenths as the chequered flag waved.
Setting the 15th best time of the day was Idafar’s new Championship Class teammate Bart Hylkema. Having dominated the Rookie Class so far in 2011, the Dutchman will be taking part in his first Championship Class race at Paul Ricard.
Kotaro Sakurai was the sole Rookie Class driver. His best came in the afternoon, albeit some 3.9 seconds off of Magnussen’s pace.
British Formula 3 In-Season Testing (Paul Ricard, July 15th) Championship Class Pos Driver Team Time 1 Kevin Magnussen Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 00.969s 2 Felipe Nasr Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 01.073s 3 Antonio Felix da Costa Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 01.148s 4 Pietro Fantin Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 01.516s 5 Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 01.634s 6 Carlos Huertas Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 01.655s 7 Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 01.664s 8 Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 01.821s 9 William Buller Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 2m 01.914s 10 Lucas Foresti Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 2m 02.025s Rookie class 1 Kotaro Sakurai Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda 2m 04.897s