DAMS racer Davide Valsecchi secured the top spot for the third consecutive day in the first GP2 test of 2012.
On the last day of the opening test at Jerez, the Italian set a quickest lap of 1:25.567 prior to lunch, with Scuderia Coloni rival Stefano Coletti a mere one-tenth in arrears.
During a busy day of running, Valsecchi logged 69 laps in his Renault-powered Dallara as the focus turned to longer runs and race simulations.
Although Coletti fell short of Valsecchi on the timing screens, the Monegasque pilot produced an extra four laps before the chequered flag brought the opening test to a close.
Those totals were bettered by the respective 3rd and 4th place men Esteban Gutierrez (Lotus, 81 laps) and Giedo van der Garde (Caterham) who registered an astonishing 96 tours.
Max Chilton led the Marussia-Carlin charge in 5th, holding a one-tenth advantage over iSport’s Marcus Ericsson.
Tom Dillmann was the first driver not to break the 1’26 barrier, with an effort four-thousandth too slow. The French racer notched up 47 laps in his Rapax machine, leaving Dillmann well down the lap charts this week, following three days with limited running.
James Calado (Lotus, 8th), Nigel Melker (Ocean Racing Technology, 9th) and Jolyon Palmer (iSport, 10th) followed, with British Formula 3 champion Felipe Nasr just missing the top ten by the narrowest of margins.
There was an early 45-minute stoppage when a curb came loose. Gutierrez and Fabrizio Crestani (Venezuela GP) brought out red flag as the afternoon commenced. Racing Engineering’s Fabio Leimer continued the trend of stoppages, when he spun into the gravel at the first turn, while Kevin Ceccon (Ocean Racing Technology) provided a fifth and final red flag with a late spin.
The next test comes in one weeks time, as the GP2 Series moves to Barcelona, before flying out for the opening round in Malaysia alter this month.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1m25.567s 69 2. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1m25.670s 73 3. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus GP 1m25.725s 81 4. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1m25.742s 96 5. Max Chilton Carlin 1m25.801s 70 6. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1m25.940s 55 7. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1m26.003s 47 8. James Calado Lotus GP 1m26.046s 75 9. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1m26.082s 79 10. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1m26.126s 67 11. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1m26.127s 58 12. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1m26.148s 63 13. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1m26.148s 55 14. Stephane Richelmi Trident Racing 1m26.213s 51 15. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m26.342s 56 16. Luiz Razia Arden International 1m26.350s 69 17. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1m26.361s 66 18. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1m26.369s 59 19. Dani Clos Rapax 1m26.453s 54 20. Simon Trummer Arden International 1m26.466s 70 21. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1m26.611s 70 22. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1m26.747s 40 23. Rodolfo Gonzalez Catheram Racing 1m26.749s 74 24. Kevin Ceccon Ocean Racing Technology 1m26.761s 55 25. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1m26.958s 60 26. Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1m27.143s 57 ^Notes compiled from trackside reports and updates.