GP2

Felipe Nasr testing barca 2013

STEFANO COLETTI ENDS ON TOP-
Rapax driver quickest on final pre-season test day in Barcelona
 
Less than two weeks before the 2013 GP2 Series season kicks off in Malaysia, Stefano Coletti confirmed his good form today: the Monegasque driver topped a dry testing day in Barcelona in the morning session with a laptime of 1:29.055. Felipe Nasr was fastest in the afternoon for Carlin.
 
A clear blue sky welcomed the GP2 drivers at the Circuit de Catalunya this morning for the final day of pre-season testing. As the pitlane opened, the track was still damp though pushing the majority of drivers to opt for wet weather tyres for the first half of the session. Stéphane Richelmi was the early pace setter, but his teammate Marcus Ericsson took control of the timesheets after one hour done and dusted in the session.
 
At the halfway mark and on a drying track, Riccardo Agostini was the first driver to test the hard compounds and to significantly improve on Ericsson’s best laptime. The rest of the field also switched to slicks and it was again Ericsson on soft tyres who set the best laptime in a 1:29.606 until a red flag was waved when Rene Binder spun and stopped at Turn 5. At the restart, most drivers opted for the Soft Pirelli compounds and Coletti found extra pace to set the best laptime of the session with a 1:29.055, one tenth clear from Ericsson. Richelmi, Jolyon Palmer, Sergio Canamasas, James Calado, and rookies Kevin Giovesi, Mitch Evans, Daniel Abt and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs rounded up the top ten.
 
The afternoon session opened one hour later on a dry track. Conor Daly replaced Riccardo Agostini at Hilmer Motorsport. Fabio Leimer set the early pace, but Coletti (on the hard compound) edged him out of the top spot. The Rapax driver remained in control of the timesheets until mid-session when Nasr on soft compounds set the fastest second and third sectors to claim top spot a shy 0.09s quicker than Coletti. In the closing stages, the Monegasque driver reduced the gap slightly to end three hundredths slower than Nasr. Taking advantage of a dry track after two days of wet weather, the drivers focused mainly on race simulations and pit-stop practice. Tom Dillmann finished third ahead of Leimer, Quaife-Hobbs, Robin Frijns, Calado, Giovesi, Evans and Daly.
 
This marked the end of the pre-season testing for GP2 Series. In two weeks time, the paddock will gather in Sepang, Malaysia, for the opening round of the eighth season of the category.
 
Morning results
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
1:29.055
30
2.
Marcus Ericsson
DAMS
1:29.217
35
3.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:29.453
39
4.
Jolyon Palmer
Carlin
1:29.467
28
5.
Sergio Canamasas
Caterham Racing
1:29.611
36
6.
James Calado
ART Grand Prix
1:29.624
33
7.
Kevin Giovesi
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:29.812
32
8.
Mitch Evans
Arden International
1:29.902
34
9.
Daniel Abt
ART Grand Prix
1:29.994
30
10.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
MP Motorsport
1:30.012
23
11.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:30.037
26
12.
Robin Frijns
RUSSIAN TIME
1:30.168
24
13.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
1:30.244
22
14.
Pal Varhaug
Hilmer Motorsport
1:30.300
26
15.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:30.459
27
16.
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:30.484
19
17.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
1:30.620
16
18.
Johnny Cecotto
Arden International
1:30.635
31
19.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:30.667
28
20.
Riccardo Agostini
Hilmer Motorsport
1:30.724
35
21.
Rio Haryanto
Barwa Addax Team
1:30.813
29
22.
Tom Dillmann
RUSSIAN TIME
1:30.855
27
23.
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Trident Racing
1:31.029
13
24.
Ma Qing Hua
Caterham Racing
1:31.035
32
25.
Julian Leal
Racing Engineering
1:31.220
14
Afternoon results
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:29.381
46
2.
Stefano Coletti
Rapax
1:29.414
28
3.
Tom Dillmann
RUSSIAN TIME
1:29.843
37
4.
Fabio Leimer
Racing Engineering
1:29.862
30
5.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
MP Motorsport
1:29.914
39
6.
Robin Frijns
RUSSIAN TIME
1:30.053
29
7.
James Calado
ART Grand Prix
1:30.256
55
8.
Kevin Giovesi
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:30.318
33
9.
Mitch Evans
Arden International
1:30.324
34
10.
Conor Daly
Hilmer Motorsport
1:30.417
37
11.
Daniel De Jong
MP Motorsport
1:30.441
29
12.
Rene Binder
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:30.454
28
13.
Pal Varhaug
Hilmer Motorsport
1:30.554
41
14.
Julian Leal
Racing Engineering
1:30.601
36
15.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:30.643
40
16.
Daniel Abt
ART Grand Prix
1:30.721
52
17.
Sergio Canamasas
Caterham racing
1:30.813
54
18.
Johnny Cecotto
Arden International
1:30.821
33
19.
Marcus Ericsson
DAMS
1:30.823
40
20.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:30.884
43
21.
Jolyon Palmer
Carlin
1:30.918
28
22.
Rio Haryanto
Barwa Addax Team
1:30.997
42
23.
Jake Rosenzweig
Barwa Addax Team
1:31.271
38
24.
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Trident Racing
1:31.368
37
25.
Ma Qing Hua
Caterham Racing
1:31.370
53

F3EC

F3 at Monza

TOP-CLASS ENTRY FROM 14 COUNTRIES

At Monza in Italy, the 2013 season of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship gets underway in three weeks’ time. In total, 30 highly talented young drivers from 14 countries will be battling for the European championship title and no less so for the Ferrari Formula 1 test drive, on ten weekends with three races each. Experienced Formula 3 drivers like Pascal Wehrlein (Mücke Motorsport) and Raffaele Marciello (Prema Powerteam) are on the entry list, just like young and eager rookie drivers like Josh Hill (Fortec Motorsport), whose goal it is to make life as difficult as possible for the stalwarts.

For decades, Formula 3 has been known as an ideal career stepping stone. Up‑and-coming talents not only acquire valuable experience in racing, but also in working with technology. Countless Formula 1 World Champions honed their skills in Formula 3. With official European Championship status from the FIA and a new structure, the FIA Formula 3 European Championship has been strengthened for the 2013 season. The series is featuring numerous promising talents on their way up.

Italian outfit, Prema Powerteam, is running four drivers in the 2013 season. Raffaele Marciello, who ended up third overall in 2012 as one of the strongest drivers in the Formula 3 Euro Series, will get no less than three new team mates: Alex Lynn, Lucas Auer and Eddie Cheever. Austrian Lucas Auer shone as a rookie by becoming runner-up in the final standings of the German Formula 3 Cup last year. Britain’s Alex Lynn had an equally successful rookie season in his domestic Formula 3 championship in which he came fourth overall. Eddie Cheever, the son of the eponymous ex-Formula 1 driver and Indy 500 race winner graduates into the European Championship with the runner-up position in the Italian Formula 3 under his belt.

Carlin has also entered four young talents to compete for the coveted title. Stalwart Harry Tincknell from the UK, who will be taking on his third year in Formula 3, will be accompanied by his compatriot Jordan King, Nicholas Latifi and Jann Mardenborough. 17-year-old Canadian Latifi got his basic education in Italian Formula 3, while King and Mardenborough do not have any experience in Formula 3 to date. Jordan King became runner-up in the final standings of last year’s Formula Renault 2.0 NEC. Team-mate Mardenborough, winner of the 2011 Nissan GT Academy, raced in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the British GT Championship last year. 
Mücke Motorsport is also relying on a quartet of drivers. German Pascal Wehrlein, runner-up of the 2012 Formula 3 Euro Series, has his eyes set on the title, just like his Swedish team-mate Felix Rosenqvist, who ended up fourth in the last Euro Series season. Mitchell Gilbert and Roy Nissany, whose father was a test driver of the Minardi Formula 1 team in 2005, round out Mücke’s line-up. Malaysian-born Australian Gilbert has previous experience from the German Formula 3 Cup while Israeli Nissany moves up into the Formula 3 European Championship from the ADAC Formula Masters.

Two of Fortec’s drivers from last year, Luís Felipe ‘Pipo’ Derani and Felix Serralles are among those to defend the Fortec Motorsport colours in 2013. Brazilian Derani has been racing in Formula 3 since 2010. His team-mate born in Puerto Rico will be starting into his second season in the category at Monza. Next to these already known drivers, Josh Hill, the son of ex-Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill, and 17-year-old Dmitry Suranovich from Russia complete the line-up of the British outfit.

Double R Racing moves up from British F3 International Series into the European Championship and will run three cars. Tatiana Calderón, who will be driving a Dallara Mercedes, is one of the two female drivers to compete in the Formula 3 European Championship. The Columbian lady racer became the first woman to score a podium finish in the American Star Mazda series in 2011. The 19-year-old South-American’s team-mates are Italian Antonio Giovinazzi, the 2012 Formula Pilota China champion, and 16-year-old Indonesian Sean Gelael, who ended up fourth in the Formula Pilota China last year.

ThreeBond with T-Sport is also coming over from the UK to compete in the European Championship. William Buller, who scored a convincing performance with his fifth place in the final standings of the 2012 Formula 3 Euro Series, will be driving a ThreeBond Nissan powered car, just like his team-mate Richard ‘Spike’ Goddard, who won the National Class in British Formula 3 last year.

Dutch team Van Amersfoort Racing will run 19-year-old Zandvoort-based Dutch driver Dennis van de Laar and equally old Swede Mans Grenhagen this season. As a rookie driver, Van de Laar got experience in the German Formula 3 Cup, while Grenhagen ended up third in the European Open F3.

Italian team Eurointernational is graduating from German F3 into the European Championship and secured itself the services of experienced Brit Tom Blomqvist. Blomqvist’s team from last year, ma-con, is relying on German youngsters: 17‑year-old André Rudersdorf won the Trophy classification of the ATS Formula 3 Cup in 2012, 21-year-old Sven Müller is returning to the Brandenburg-based team after one season with Prema. Lucas Wolf will be racing a Mercedes-Dallara with URD Rennsport while Jo Zeller will be running a car for his son Sandro Zeller.

Michela Cerruti is the second lady racer in the field. The 26-year-old Italian already caught attention in touring cars and will be competing for points with a Formula 3 car for Romeo Ferraris’s team in 2013.

The FIA Formula 3 European Championship season opener will take place at the Italian Grand Prix circuit of Monza, together with the FIA WTCC (23-24 March). Prior to that, drivers and teams will meet in Barcelona (8-9 March) and Monza (18-19 March) for a total of four official test days.