Crestani takes surprise top spot in GP2 test

© Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

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.

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