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Da Costa quickest on day two of GP3 Barcelona test

March 14, 2012

Antonio Felix da Costa jumped to the top of the time sheets on the final day of the second GP3 test yesterday.

The Carlin racer registered a best of 1:37.934 around Barcelona’s warm and pleasant Circuit de Catalunya, pipping MW Arden’s Matias Laine by half-a-tenth.

The Portuguese racer spent the morning on top or at least near the top of the timesheets, with Laine occasionally proving a threat.
Da Costa also logged a solid 64 lap total during the day, adding to the 72 he registered on Monday.

Laine’s MW Arden teammate, Mitch Evans, ended the day 3rd overall after another impressive showing. The young Kiwi fell a mere two-tenths shy of the top spot; however Evans did prove to be one of the busier runners with 72 laps in the bag.

Trident’s Kevin Ceccon fronted Trident’s charge. The Italian headed an impressively long gaggle of entrants, with approximately half-a-second covering 4th to 15th overall.
Lagging just shy of Ceccon was Status GP man Marlon Stockinger and Lotus’ Conor Daly, with Jenzer pairing Robert Visoiu and Patric Niederhauser a further tenth-of-a-second adrift.
Aaro Vainio returned to the Lotus fold to assume 9th overall, while Carlin’s Will Buller rounded out the top ten.

Despite the closeness of the field, David Fumanelli (MW Arden), Tamas Pa’l Kiss (Atech CRS), Tio Ellinas (Marussia- Manor), Maxim Zimin (Jenzer) and Daniel Abt (Lotus).
Following a difficult morning session hit by an oil leak, Abt returned to the fold to go fastest in the afternoon session.

Other drivers to crack the 200-mile barrier were Ellinas, Alex Brundle (Carlin, 18th) and Kotaro Sakurai (Status, 21st)
Sakurai’s Status GP teammate, Yann Zimmer, had his times deleted post-test, when it was discovered his car had been running underweight.

Several red flags stuttered proceedings. Spins by Ceccon and Atech’s Ethan Ringel brought out temporary red flags in the morning, followed by a stoppage in the afternoon courtesy of a spinning Vicky Piria (Trident).
Ringel brought another red flag period after lunch, when his car stopped on track.

All drivers used Pirelli’s hard compound GP3 tyre for this test, as opposed to the medium compound GP3 rubber as run in Estoril.
The hard tyre will again be in use at next month’s final test at Silverstone.

Combined times:  
Pos  Driver                  Team       Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Carlin     1m37.934s            64
 2.  Matias Laine            MW Arden   1m37.993s  + 0.059s  67
 3.  Mitch Evans             MW Arden   1m38.154s  + 0.220s  72
 4.  Kevin Ceccon            Trident    1m38.239s  + 0.305s  60
 5.  Marlon Stockinger       Status     1m38.283s  + 0.349s  63
 6.  Conor Daly              Lotus      1m38.322s  + 0.388s  62
 7.  Robert Visoiu           Jenzer     1m38.391s  + 0.457s  66
 8.  Patric Niederhauser     Jenzer     1m38.452s  + 0.518s  57
 9.  Aaro Vainio             Lotus      1m38.469s  + 0.535s  71
10.  William Buller          Carlin     1m38.471s  + 0.537s  63
11.  David Fumanelli         MW Arden   1m38.542s  + 0.608s  67
12.  Tamas Pal Kiss          Atech CRS  1m38.593s  + 0.659s  53
13.  Tio Ellinas             Manor      1m38.603s  + 0.669s  70
14.  Maxim Zimin             Jenzer     1m38.692s  + 0.758s  60
15.  Daniel Abt              Lotus      1m38.760s  + 0.826s  53
16.  Dmitry Suranovich       Manor      1m38.955s  + 1.021s  69
17.  Antonio Spavone         Trident    1m38.977s  + 1.043s  68
18.  Alex Brundle            Carlin     1m39.129s  + 1.195s  75
19.  Fabiano Machado         Manor      1m39.318s  + 1.384s  58
20.  Vicky Piria             Trident    1m39.348s  + 1.414s  67
21.  Kotaro Sakurai          Status     1m39.419s  + 1.485s  75
22.  Ethan Ringel            Atech CRS  1m39.785s  + 1.851s  61
23.  Robert Cregan           Ocean      1m40.601s  + 2.667s  57
24.  John Wartique           Atech CRS  1m40.930s  + 2.996s  36
25.  Carmen Jorda            Ocean      1m41.997s  + 4.063s  55
     Yann Zimmer             Status     (no time)            --
Notes compiled from live updates and team releases.
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