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Mar 07

Stefano Coletti ends on top (updated)

Rapax driver quickest on final pre-season test day in Barcelona

GP2 - Stefano Coletti (Rapax)GP2 -  Felipe Nasr (Carlin)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

source: GP2 Series

Racing Eng.

Racing Engineering complete pre-season testing at Barcelona and is ready for the start of the 2013 GP2 season.

The final pre-season testing before the start of the 2013 GP2 Series began on Tuesday with the Circuit de Catalunya beset with heavy rain and strong winds. Most of the teams opted to wait until the weather improved before setting any lap times and, not surprisingly given the conditions, once the cars took to the track the session was interrupted by several red flags. Both of the Racing Engineering drivers managed over 20 laps each as they set up their cars for the wet conditions and Fabio Leimer finished the session in 4th with a fastest lap of 1:52.316s, his teammate Julián Leal finishing right behind him in 5th with a best time of 1:52.334s.

The weather had improved for the afternoon session, although the track was still damp at the start, but lap times soon began to fall as the track dried out. Fabio was once again amongst the fastest runners finishing 6th after setting a time of 1:30.335s after 16 laps. Julián was just over a second slower as he continued to set up the car to his liking, finishing with a time over 1:31.520s.

The weather for both of the Wednesday sessions proved to be equally uninviting with more rain and low temperatures. Once again wet weather tyres were required and Fabio and Julián both completing 26 laps in a morning session delayed by two red flags. Fabio’s best time was 1:52.594s with Julián less than half a second slower on 1:52.946s.

The afternoon session saw Julián right on the pace setting a best lap of 1:53.524s after 37 laps to be 8th quickest, less than 0.8 seconds behind the fastest lap. Fabio completed 22 laps for the 11th fastest time on 1:53.920s. Once again three red flags disrupted the session.

The weather finally improved for the final day of testing with the teams being greeted with blue skies although the track was still damp meaning that wet weather tyres were needed for the first half of the session. With both Fabio and Julián concentrating on setting their cars up for the dry conditions neither driver went for a quick time and Fabio finished the session with a best lap of 1:30.244s with Julián less than a second slower on 1:31.220s.

The work done by the Racing Engineering team in the morning meant that both drivers were able to improve their times considerably in the afternoon and Fabio was amongst the fastest cars on the track, finally setting a best lap of 1:29.862s for the 4th fastest time of the session while Julián was once again very close to his teammate with a lap of 1:30.601s for 14th place on the timing list.

The Racing Engineering team will now be returning to their Sanlúcar de Barrameda base to prepare for the first round of the 2013 GP2 Series to be held on the Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia from the 22nd to the 24th of March.

Thomas Couyotopoulo, Sporting Director of Racing Engineering:

“We had a difficult three day test here at Barcelona with the weather greatly affecting out testing program, reducing the time to test different solutions. The tyres were once more the centre of attention during the test, and we discovered some quite interesting things. We performed well with both compounds and will now finish the preparations for the first race in Sepang.”

Fabio Leimer:

“Generally this test was very useful as we had two days in the wet and in the end one day with a dry track, because of this we were able to work on our dry and wet set up. We were also able to obtain more information on the tyres. Generally we gathered a lot of information during these three days and we have to analyse it now, but I am quite confident about the season opener in Malaysia.”

Julián Leal:

“We had a lot of rain during the first two days here in Barcelona and were able to test a lot of things on the car. We did a good job and found a fast car for the rain, where we finished almost all the sessions in the top 10. We suffered a bit more in the dry, but continually improved and made several steps forward. With restricted running time in the dry we were not able to try everything we wanted, but my engineer understands me and my driving style really well now, so I think we will be do a good job from the first race on.”

source: racing-engineering.com

Caterham Racing logo

Caterham Racing

T02 Barcelona – Day 3

  • Circuit de Catalunya, Spain – Thursday 7th March 2013
  • Drivers: Ma Qing Hua & Sergio Canamasas

Finally the GP2 field were graced with some well overdue sunshine on the final day of pre-season GP2 testing, although the track remained damp and greasy until around 11am.

With almost a full slick tyre allocation available, the team were able to allow both drivers to interchange between qualifying and race runs throughout the day.

Canamasas put his 2012 GP2 experience to good use, breaking for lunch P5, while Ma learnt the track in the dry for the first time and ended the morning P24.

The afternoon passed without incident with and with temperatures reaching 20 degrees, the team even broke out their T-shirts!

Both drivers performed faultlessly throughout the tests, and Caterham Racing now looks forward to announcing Ma’s 2013 teammate and competing in the first race in Malaysia on March 24th.

Caterham Racing Team Manager Phill Spencer: “Six days of testing complete and both drivers we have run in the tests have a lot of mileage under their belts. We brought in a few new team members during the winter and we have therefore focused heavily on pitstops and ensuring everything runs smoothly, which it has. I am thoroughly pleased with both the team and drivers, and look forward to the season opener in Malaysia.”

Caterham Racing Chief Engineer Humphrey Corbett: “We have had an incredibly busy day today. Sergio was well up at the top of the time sheet this morning and completed long runs this afternoon as planned. Ma struggled at times to get the most out of the car and tyres during his qualifying runs, but this was to be expected on his first day on the new compound race tyres.

“We have learnt so much about the tyres today, which we will put to good use in Malaysia and Bahrain. All in all we are a happy team, leaving Barcelona in high spirits.”

Sergio Canamasas: “This morning the car felt good and I was happy with my pace, but I feel that we can still improve the car which is good. I have driven 450km today which is really unusual in GP2 and I am pleased with my physical fitness and my winter preparation has paid off. I am happy, in good shape and have enjoyed working with the team during the two tests.”

Ma Qing Hua (sipping the first tasty drink his physio Andy has allowed him to drink for days!) comments “This morning I drove some qualifying runs and I found lots of time as I was still learning the circuit. This afternoon I did some race simulations on hard compound tyres and completed a normal race distance, which I felt pretty happy with. I have really enjoyed driving the GP2 car in Jerez and Barcelona, it is powerful and I am learning fast.”

“The Caterham Racing team are great and I enjoy the atmosphere. This weekend I will go to Leafield to visit the Caterham HQ and then it will be off to Australia with the F1 team, before my first GP2 race in Malaysia.”

source: caterham-racing.com

Dams

 

Three constructive days for DAMS

 

GP2 followed in the footsteps of Formula 1 and continued its pre-season testing on the Montmelo circuit beside Barcelona after the first session at Jerez. The similarities continued in terms of weather with two cold and rainy days while the third was bathed in sunshine. It was hardly the ideal environment in which to find one’s marks, but the DAMS team managed to take advantage of the situation by working in view of the coming season as a whole without chasing the stop watch. This, though, didn’t prevent the French squad’s drivers from setting the second and fourth-fastest times of the 3 days.

The wet and very cool ambience reigning on the Catalonian circuit wrong-footed the drivers early on and they had problems finding good grip. Thus, the team decided to modify its programme and test new options. DAMS knew that rain would obviously upset some races during the year so it ran through a raft of solutions in these conditions. And in the end without really attempting to go for times it drew a lot of positive conclusions from the tests.

The sun put in an appearance on the final day and the team immediately confirmed its competitiveness by setting the second (Marcus Ericsson) and third (Stéphane Richelmi) times in the morning: they were only split in the late afternoon by former DAMS driver, Felipe Nasr. In the afternoon the team concentrated on race simulations with hard and soft tyres. The overall results of the Spanish week were very beneficial for the team and its drivers who gathered crucially important information in view of the coming championship.

François Sicard, DAMS general manager: “We left Barcelona feeling pretty satisfied overall with our three days. The cohesion of the team and the close links between the drivers as well as those between the drivers and their engineers are already very good. We decided to more or less turn our programme upside down because of the rain, and we’ve gathered useful information, which will become obvious later on in the season. We’ve got the speed as proved by the times on the last day; the car’s good and so are the drivers! We’re can’t wait to kick off the season in Malaysia in two weeks time.”

Marcus Ericsson: “The season’s got off to a great start with DAMS in Spain. The two weeks’ tests have proved very productive. We’ve accumulated a lot of information; we’ve run in very different conditions, in sunshine and in rain, and we’ve done a great job preparing for the year ahead. Everybody in the team made me feel at ease immediately and already I feel like I’m at home at DAMS! Stéphane and I both hit it off straight away; he’s a nice guy and a very good driver. We’re going to push each other and that’ll be great for the team. DAMS won the drivers’ titles in the past two years so my role will be to continue the series. I’m ready. I’ve got the experience and the technical resources with this team to fight for the title: that’s my aim. Stéphane and I will be well placed to defend the teams’ title too.”

Stéphane Richelmi: “By signing with DAMS I knew I was joined a well-structured and well-run team. The two weeks’ tests confirmed this in the best possible manner. At Jerez, we took advantage of the good weather to rack up a fair amount of kilometers and trial a certain number of solutions, most of which proved correct. I was able to set good times and this boosted my confidence and made my integration into the squad all the easier. Engineers, mechanics, everybody, all create an ambience that is both professional and friendly. And in addition, I discovered a very pleasant – and very quick – team-mate! Marcus and I got on like a house on fire right from the word go. He gave me advice and we shared all our information, so I’m feeling pretty confident about the coming season. I know I’ve got what it takes to fight for pole and top-three finishes and maybe even victory. In any case I’ll give my very best to help DAMS retain its teams’ title.”

First race: Malaysia (Sepang) 23-24 March 2013

source: dams.fr



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