GP3

Zamparelli fastest in rain-affected Free Practice

Brit Dino Zamparelli set the pace during the forty-five minute Free Practice ahead of his fellow ART Grand Prix teammates Marvin Kirchhöfer and Alex Fontana. The session was red flagged twice with very tricky conditions due to rain.
27 drivers lined up for opening session of the weekend for Round 6 of the 2014 GP3 Series from Spa-Francorchamps. There were four changes to the driver line-up, GP3 returnee Kevin Ceccon was in the number 22 machine at Jenzer Motorsport, whilst Trident fielded three new rookie drivers: Konstantin Tereshchenko from Russia, John Bryant-Meisner from Sweden and Luca Ghiotto from Italy.
Temperatures were cool with impending rain clouds above as free practice commenced. Series leader Alex Lynn from Carlin was first to set the pace in the 2m08’s before Zamparelli demoted him to P2. But the Red Bull Junior driver found extra pace to rise to the top and break into the 2m07’s. Zamparelli too found some extra speed, to displace Lynn again.
Kirchhöfer and Fontana soon jumped on the tail of their teammate to hold second and third fastest, with Lynn in fourth ahead of his teammate Emil Bernstorff. The drivers returned to the pits as light rain began to fall. It was challenging for drivers as early on the rain was falling only over the pitlane, La Source and Eau Rouge, with many drivers opting to remain in the pits to see what the weather would do.
Trident debutant Tereshchenko lost control under braking at the final corner and his car was launched into the air as he ran over the kerb and made contact with the barrier. The Russian driver climbed out of his car whilst the session was red flagged for his car to be removed.
When the session resumed, light drizzle continued to fall, this time more over the circuit with drivers unable to improve on their lap times. In the final minutes, Marussia Manor Racing’s Ryan Cullen also suffered an excursion, making light contact with the wall. With the rain coming down heavier and only a few minutes remaining on the clock – it was decided the session would not re-start.
At the chequered flag it was the ART Grand Prix trio of Zamparelli, Kirchhöfer and Fontana, followed by Lynn, Bernstorff, Mathéo Tuscher, Nick Yelloly, Jimmy Eriksson, Richie Stanaway and Patrick Kujala.
Qualifying takes place at 09.45 am local time tomorrow morning with rain expected – with four points up for grabs as the rounds tick down, it’s imperative in the fight for the title.
Free Practice – Spa-Francorchamps
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Dino Zamparelli
ART Grand Prix
2:07.021
10
2.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
2:07.372
7
3.
Alex Fontana
ART Grand Prix
2.07.392
8
4.
Alex Lynn
Carlin
2:07.437
12
5.
Emil Bernstorff
Carlin
2:07.696
10
6.
Mathéo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
2:08.035
10
7.
Nick Yelloly
Status Grand Prix
2:08.232
9
8.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
2:08.271
9
9.
Richie Stanaway
Status Grand Prix
2:08.341
10
10.
Patrick Kujala
Marussia Manor Racing
2:08.374
10
11.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
2:08.495
10
12.
Riccardo Agostini
Hilmer Motorsport
2:08.648
8
13.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
2:08.674
11
14.
Luis Sa Silva
Carlin
2:08.791
9
15.
Santiago Urrutia
Koiranen GP
2:08.826
8
16.
Nelson Mason
Hilmer Motorsport
2:08.861
7
17.
Jann Mardenborough
Arden International
2:08.918
10
18.
Patric Niederhauser
Arden International
2:09.627
8
19.
Ryan Cullen
Marussia Manor Racing
2:09.843
10
20.
Kevin Ceccon
Jenzer Motorsport
2:10.228
11
21.
John Bryant-Meisner
Trident
2:11.488
10
22.
Konstantin Tereshchenko
Trident
2:12.027
11
23.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
Status Grand Prix
2:12.213
8
24.
Robert Visoiu
Arden International
2:12.241
8
25.
Sebastian Balthasar
Hilmer Motorsport
2:12.754
11
26.
Carmen Jorda
Koiranen GP
2:14. 456
9
27.
Dean Stoneman
Marussia Manor Racing
2:18. 487
9