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Valsecchi makes it three out of three in GP2 testing

March 2, 2012

Circuito de Jerez. © Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

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.
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