Buller on top after Valencia Test
Carlin’s William Buller quickest in mid season testing in Spain
Britain’s William Buller set the pace on the second and final day of testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo after producing a laptime of 1:26.389 which was three tenths faster than Matias Laine on day one. Mitch Evans (MW Arden) headed the afternoon timings by just one thousandth of a second over the Carlin man.
There was one change to the line-up with Robert Visoiu absent from the test due to an exam so Irishman Gary Thompson made his debut in the Jenzer Motorsport car.
The session started in glorious sunshine and much hotter temperatures than yesterday, with the drivers eager to set a fast time early on. Trident Racing’s Nico Muller set an early benchmark and was on another hot lap when his team mate Vicky Piria spun into the gravel after 20 minutes, thus causing a halt for a red flag. Buller who was in second, soon went P1, a tenth faster than the Swiss driver.
As the track temperature climbed to 42 degrees, the drivers returned to the pits to make set-up changes and to concentrate on long runs in preparation for the upcoming races. Evans and Buller’s Carlin teammate Antonio Felix Da Costa posted the third and fourth fastest times, ahead of Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas who snuck ahead of Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport) at the mid-point of the morning session. Seventh was Series leader Aaro Vainio (Lotus GP) and Kevin Ceccon progressed to eighth in the latter stages in his Ocean Racing Technology car after having a brief moment off track which caused a momentary red flag. Daniel Abt (Lotus GP) and Marlon Stockinger (Status Grand Prix) completed the top ten.
When the afternoon session commenced after the one hour break, the MW Arden trio were first out the blocks along with the Status Grand Prix drivers with Evans topping the timesheets. Stockinger shot to P2 ahead of David Fumanelli and Laine in the first hour. The focus for a lot of the teams was race simulation along with pit stop practice for some crews. Tamas Pal Kiss (Atech CRS GP) jumped up to fourth at the midway point, followed by Niederhauser going P3.
GP3 debutant Gary Thompson rose to P4 in the final thirty minutes of the session whilst fastest man of the day Buller set a laptime just one thousandth of a second off Evans’ best time of the afternoon but remained in P2 at the chequered flag. Stockinger was also just 0.023s off the New Zealander’s best lap showing how fierce the competition at the front is. Ellinas was fourth ahead of Niederhauser, Thompson, Fumanelli, Ceccon, Pal-Kiss and Felix Da Costa.