Arjun Maini second fastest in Free Practice: GP3

By | May 12, 2017
Barcelona 12 May 2017: Nirei Fukuzumi has nabbed the top spot in the opening free practice session of the 2017 GP3 Series this afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, leading the way for almost the entire session with a lap of 1:35.933 despite a last minute challenge from Arjun Maini and Marcos Seibert.
With the session opening under scorching conditions the lessons learned at the recent 2 day test, held in much colder conditions, were not going to help as much as was hoped, leading the entire grid to head out onto the circuit as soon as the lights went green. Ryan Tveter and Maini set the initial pace before Fukuzumi grabbed the top spot just 8 minutes into the session, holding on all the way to the flag.
With the top 4 places held by the Honda development driver and his ART Grand Prix teammates, attention turned to race simulations in preparation for tomorrow’s Race 1 for the majority of the session. It was only in the final 5 minutes that the drivers were let off the leash, with Tveter and Niko Kari pushing hard but struggling in the final sector.
With Fukuzumi more than four tenths ahead of George Russell the rest of the field was effectively fighting for P2, with the competition heating up as the clock wound down: Leonardo Pulcini grabbed 2nd with 2 minutes remaining, only to be usurped as the chequered flag dropped by first Seibert and then Maini on the last lap of the day.
Despite the Japanese driver’s strong push there were 13 drivers within a second of his best time, suggesting the fight for pole position in tomorrow morning’s qualifying session will be as fierce as ever.
Free Practice Classification
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Nirei Fukuzumi
ART Grand Prix
1:35.933
17
2.
Arjun Maini
Jenzer Motorsport
1:36.286
20
3.
Marcos Siebert
Campos Racing
1:36.293
18
4.
Leonardo Pulcini
Arden International
1:36.352
17
5.
George Russell
ART Grand Prix
1:36.382
17
6.
Jack Aitken
ART Grand Prix
1:36.386
17
7.
Niko Kari
Arden International
1:36.431
17
8.
Ryan Tveter
Trident
1:36.441
14
9.
Steijn Schothorst
Arden International
1:36.455
17
10.
Raoul Hyman
Campos Racing
1:36.517
20
11.
Santino Ferrucci
DAMS
1:36.521
18
12.
Anthoine Hubert
ART Grand Prix
1:36.619
18
13.
Kevin Jörg
Trident
1:36.669
16
14.
Bruno Baptista
DAMS
1:37.047
17
15.
Giuliano Alesi
Trident
1:37.254
14
16.
Dorian Boccolacci
Trident
1:37.488
18
17.
Julien Falchero
Campos Racing
1:37.570
20
18.
Tatiana Calderon
DAMS
1:37.606
19
19.
Alessio Lorandi
Jenzer Motorsport
1:38.227
16
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