Fabrizio Crestani sets the pace in Barcelona
GP2 Series 2012 pre-season testing resumed this week at Circuit de Catalunya. Four new faces joined the field: Giancarlo Serenelli at Venezuela GP Lazarus, Ricardo Teixeira and Sergio Canamasas at Rapax, and Jon Lancaster at Ocean Racing Technology.
Fabrizio Crestani proved today that new team Venezuela GP Lazarus is already on the pace in comparison with the rest of the field after he set the quickest laptime of the day in the morning session whilst Max Chilton at Carlin was fastest this afternoon.
The three-day session opened in cool temperatures. Although most drivers took to the track early for their installation laps, it was a slow first hour with only six racers to clock in a laptime, Crestani being the quickest in a 1:30.271. As the temperature rose slowly, drivers went out for their first stints and Esteban Gutierrez was the first one to dip under 1m30s, one tenth faster than Chilton. But the Briton improved and bettered the Mexican’s laptime by one tenth of a second.
Halfway through the morning session, Giedo van der Garde took control of the timesheets with a 1:29.750, but with one hour left on the clock, Stefano Coletti went top, 0.037s faster than the Dutchman. Crestani’s efforts in the final thirty minutes were rewarded with a laptime of 1:29.420, two tenths clear from his closest rival Jolyon Palmer. In the dying minutes, both Julian Leal and Nathanaël Berthon stopped on track prompting a red flag. The session was not resumed and Crestani finished on top ahead of Palmer, Stéphane Richelmi, Rio Haryanto, Coletti, Davide Valsecchi, Leal, van der Garde, Chilton and Simon Trummer.
The afternoon session saw James Calado set the early pace. A first red flag interrupted the proceedings after Felipe Nasr ran a bit too wide and stopped in the gravel bed. At the restart, van der Garde went top and another red flag stopped the session following Fabio Onidi spinning at the exit of Turn 9. The remaining of the session ran smoothly. Coletti was the first driver to dip under 1m30s, but his laptime was bettered by Chilton. Carlin’s Briton set a laptime of 1:29.479 with one hour left on the clock. He stayed unchallenged until the chequered flag, Leal ending a shy 0.01s behind Chilton. Ericsson, Coletti, Calado van der Garde, Valsecchi, Gutiérrez, Johnny Cecotto and Trummer completed the top 10.