MW Arden’s Kevin Ceccon fastest on day one in Spain…
Italian driver Kevin Ceccon posted the fastest laptime on the opening day of the Jerez test with a 1:35.451, nearly half a second quicker than Lotus GP’s Robert Visoiu in the morning. Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas topped the timesheets in a very wet afternoon session.
After a six week break since the 2012 GP3 Series season finished in dramatic style, the GP3/10 cars roared back into action for the first of two winter tests. The GP3 circus arrived in Jerez, Spain for a two day test with many new faces hoping to impress to secure a potential drive for the 2013 season.
Six drivers from this year’s season were testing today but not all were competing with the same outfit they had raced with. Ceccon took the reigns of the MW Arden machine whilst Visoiu and Giovanni Venturini switched to the black and gold of the Lotus GP car.
The morning session started off in cool conditions with rain threatening over the Circuito de Jerez. The drivers made their way onto the track to set the installation laps with the experienced drivers of Ceccon, David Fumanelli (MW Arden) and Ellinas setting the early pace. Alex Fontana (Jenzer Motorsport) headed the timings after the first hour with debutants Melville McKee (MW Arden), Roman De Beer (Trident Racing) and Jack Harvey (Lotus GP) in the top eight.
Australian Jordan Oon spun his Atech CRS GP car which caused the morning session to be briefly red flagged whilst Ceccon got to grips with the MW Arden car to go P1 with a best laptime of 1:35.451. Visoiu jumped up to P2 in the final thirty minutes to finish ahead of Ellinas, Fumanelli, McKee, Fontana, Nick Cassidy (Status Grand Prix) and Nicolas Costa (Marussia Manor Racing).
Heavy rain fell as the afternoon session commenced and Polish rookie Patryk Szczerbinski (Marussia Manor Racing) set the marker in the early stages until his teammates Ellinas and Costa posted P1 and P2 as the rain came down even harder. This gave the drivers the opportunity to test the GP3 car in full wet conditions after the earlier dry session.
Fontana rose to P3 ahead of Miki Monras (Atech CRS GP) whilst Harvey and Ceccon climbed up to P2 and P3 respectively in the final thirty minutes. However the rest of the pack were unable to beat the Cypriot’s fastest laptime of the afternoon of 1:47.520. Harvey, Ceccon, Costa, Fontana, Monras, Visoiu and Eric Lichtenstein (Carlin) rounding out the top eight.