Finnish racer Aaro Vainio topped the second and final day of the opening GP3 pre-season test at Estoril.
Driving for reigning champions Lotus (formerly Lotus-ART), Vainio’s best lap – 1:30.466 – came early in the morning running, allowing the Finn the benefit of a day-long advantage at the head of the field.
The Finn completed a respectable 58 laps throughout the day.
Marussia Manor’s Tio Ellinas came closest to dislodging Vainio with an afternoon effort just one-tenth shy of the top. The Cypriot clocked up 55 laps – a not too unreasonable total in what was a very busy day at the Portuguese circuit.
Antonio Felix da Costa was next up in the Carlin, falling just six hundredths shy of Ellinas. The Portuguese racer featured high on the time sheets in the morning, only to drop to 3rd as the afternoon ticked over.
Mitch Evans (MW Arden, 4th), Conor Daly (Lotus, 5th) and Tamas Pa’l Kiss (Atech CRS, 6th) all set times within half-a-second of Vainio; however for the second consecutive day, Pa’l Kiss lingered near the bottom of the lap count with only 49 tours logged.
Formula Abarth Italy champion Patric Niederhauser (7th) headed impressive 15-year-old Jenzer Motorsport teammate Matheo Tuscher (8th) by a mere five hundredths, while Daniel Abt (Lotus) and Marlon Stockinger (Status) rounded out the top ten.
After topping the time sheets on Tuesday with Trident, Nico Muller switched to Tech 1 Racing for the final day, falling to 17th overall.
The morning saw two red flags emerge, both courtesy of series rookie Vicky Piria. The 19-year-old twice beached her Trident machine in the gravel, bringing the session to a halt.
The next two-day test is scheduled for Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya in three weeks time.
Pos Driver Team Time Gaps Laps 1. Aaro Vainio Lotus 1m30.466s 58 2. Tio Ellinas Manor 1m30.573s + 0.107s 55 3. Antonio Felix da Costa Carlin 1m30.610s + 0.164s 67 4. Mitch Evans MW Arden 1m30.810s + 0.364s 63 5. Conor Daly Lotus 1m30.855s + 0.389s 71 6. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS 1m30.936s + 0.470s 50 7. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer 1m30.985s + 0.519s 70 8. Matheo Tuscher Jenzer 1m31.036s + 0.570s 75 9. Daniel Abt Lotus 1m31.055s + 0.589s 76 10. Marlon Stockinger Status 1m31.298s + 0.832s 58 11. Robert Visoiu Jenzer 1m31.314s + 0.848s 64 12. Dmitry Suranovich Manor 1m31.382s + 0.916s 66 13. Matias Laine MW Arden 1m31.421s + 0.955s 49 14. Fabiano Machado Manor 1m31.491s + 1.025s 57 15. David Fumanelli MW Arden 1m31.527s + 1.061s 52 16. Miki Weckstrom Status 1m31.539s + 1.073s 53 17. Nico Muller Tech 1 1m31.570s + 1.104s 69 18. Will Buller Carlin 1m31.597s + 1.131s 77 19. Alex Brundle Carlin 1m32.001s + 1.135s 104 20. Yuki Shiraishi Trident 1m32.307s + 1.442s 84 21. Nil Montserrat Status 1m32.357s + 1.891s 56 22. Antonio Spavone Trident 1m32.446s + 1.980s 73 23. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS 1m32.466s + 2.000s 52 24. Robert Cregan Tech 1 1m32.594s + 2.128s 56 25. Vicky Piria Trident 1m32.932s + 2.468s 64