Barcelona, 19 April 2017: Arjun Maini has set the bar for the second GP3 Series pre-season test by topping the timesheets this morning at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, with the Indian grabbing the top spot late in a session which started with rain and ended on a fully dry track with a laptime of 1:34.163, just three tenths faster than Niko Kari and Santino Ferrucci.
The session opened to unexpectedly cold and wet conditions, and although all drivers were straight out for installations there was no meani
ngful running, with the ART quartet the only drivers to set laptimes, and well off the regular pace. Anthoine Hubert led the way at the one hour mark, with teammate George Russell taking over at the halfway mark, but it was only around the second hour that drivers were switching to slicks and setting competitive times, with Nirei Fukuzumi taking over on top of the timesheets.
The field made up for lost time in the final hour, with Kari setting the pace with 45 minutes remaining on 1:35.367, with Ferrucci slotting into P2 briefly before being displaced by Fukuzumi just seconds before the American grabbed the top spot by two tenths. The Japanese driver struck back with half an hour remaining, breaking the 35s barrier with a 1:34.761, ahead of Leonardo Pulcini and Ferrucci, but with ten minutes to go Maini grabbed the top spot by half a second, and then went even quicker with 5 minutes remaining to secure the top of the timesheets.
With the times tumbling late in the session not everyone had time to respond: 8 drivers are within 1 second of Maini’s time, and all bar one are within 2 seconds. There will be time for a further answer when the teams return to their pits after lunch, in two hours’ time.
Day 1 Morning results
|1||Arjun Maini||Jenzer Motorsport||1:34.163||24|
|2||Niko Kari||Arden International||1:34.522||23|
|4||Nirei Fukuzumi||ART Grand Prix||1:34.761||45|
|5||Leonardo Pulcini||Arden International||1:34.828||19|
|6||Raoul Hyman||Campos Racing||1:34.877||18|
|9||Alessio Lorandi||Jenzer Motorsport||1:35.173||16|
|10||Marcos Siebert||Campos Racing||1:35.249||19|
|12||Steijn Schothorst||Arden International||1:35.330||19|
|13||Anthoine Hubert||ART Grand Prix||1:35.379||45|
|14||Julien Falchero||Campos Racing||1:35.407||25|
|17||Jack Aitken||ART Grand Prix||1:35.748||41|
|18||George Russell||ART Grand Prix||1:36.094||40|