Raised eyebrows became the order of the day, when Auto GP promotee Fabrizio Crestani set the quickest time on day one of the second pre-season GP2 test at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The Italian registered his benchmark – 1:29.420 – toward the end of the morning session, pipping previous fast men Stefano Coletti and Giedo van der Garde.
Crestani managed a solid 50 laps in his Venezuela GP Lazarus Dallara – an important benchmark as the team readies itself for their first GP2 weekend.
Max Chilton nabbed the 2nd spot for Marussia-Carlin after he ran fastest in the afternoon session. The Briton enjoyed 38 laps during a day interrupted by several red flags, when Julian Leal (Trident) and Nathanael Berthon (Racing Engineering*) stopped on track. Spins from Felipe Nasr (DAMS) and Fabio Onidi (Coloni) also stopped the clock briefly.
Leal would eventually end up 3rd with a quickest run just shy of Chilton, while Marcus Ericsson just missed out on a top three spot, but led the iSport charge regardless.
The Swede was the first of a batch of drivers locked in the ‘1:26.6’ bracket, mere hundredths ahead of group that included iSport teammate Jolyon Palmer (5th). Stephane Richelmi (Trident, 6th), Rio Haryanto (Marussia-Carlin, 7th) and Coletti (Coloni, 8th) all ensured a close gap.
Last week’s quick man Davide Valsecchi fell to 9th overall after a busy day in his DAMS machine. The Italian logged 64 laps throughout the days running, with a best of 1:29.726 ensuring a top ten spot.
Valsecchi held a small gap over GP3 graduate James Calado, who improved his time in the afternoon to secure 10th spot in the leading Lotus entry.
Come the chequered flag, the top 18 drivers were covered by less than one second. Arden’s Luiz Razia completed only two installation laps, but withdrew early on due to illness.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Fabrizio Crestani Lazarus 1m29.420s 50 2. Max Chilton Carlin 1m29.479s + 0.059s 38 3. Julian Leal Trident 1m29.494s + 0.074s 51 4. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m29.605s + 0.185s 44 5. Jolyon Palmer iSport 1m29.645s + 0.225s 51 6. Stephane Richelmi Trident 1m29.658s + 0.238s 49 7. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1m29.673s + 0.253s 51 8. Stefano Coletti Coloni 1m29.687s + 0.267s 41 9. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1m29.726s + 0.306s 64 10. James Calado Lotus 1m29.740s + 0.320s 40 11. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m29.750s + 0.330s 42 12. Simon Trummer Arden 1m29.892s + 0.472s 65 13. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus 1m29.902s + 0.482s 47 14. Johnny Cecotto Addax 1m29.947s + 0.527s 44 15. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1m30.014s + 0.594s 46 16. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m30.053s + 0.633s 52 17. Fabio Onidi Coloni 1m30.311s + 0.891s 36 18. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1m30.393s + 0.973s 46 19. Nigel Melker Ocean 1m30.603s + 1.183s 43 20. Jon Lancaster Ocean 1m30.715s + 1.295s 38 21. Sergio Canamasas Rapax 1m31.468s + 2.048s 69 22. Josef Kral Addax 1m31.606s + 2.186s 38 23. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham 1m31.967s + 2.547s 48 24. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1m32.613s + 3.193s 51 25. Giancarlo Serenelli Lazarus 1m35.420s + 6.000s 45 26. Luiz Razia Arden (no time) 2 ^ Notes compiled from team releases and live updates.