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Mar 13

Niederhauser on top as Barcelona GP3 test ends

Jenzer Motorsport’s Patric Niederhauser fastest in second official pre-season test

GP3 - Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport)Gp3 - Aaro Vainio (Koiranen GP)Swiss driver Patric Niederhauser set a blistering laptime of 1:33.750 which was an impressive 4.2 seconds faster than the best GP3 lap set at the Circuit de Catalunya in 2012. It was another trouble-free test session in Barcelona with the second generation car as the full grid of 27 drivers fought with the mixed weather conditions. Aaro Vainio was quickest in the afternoon for Koiranen GP.

Melville McKee replaced Lewis Williamson at Bamboo Engineering which was the only change to the line-up for day two. The first hour of the test was frenetic as the drivers fed onto the track eager to make the most of dry running before the expected rain fell. Jenzer Motorsport made it a one-two with Niederhauser and Alex Fontana topping the timesheets early on with drivers unable to improve as the heavens opened.

Jack Harvey stopped on track in his ART Grand Prix car with technical gremlins whilst Nick Cassidy (Marussia Manor Racing) clipped the barrier which caused brief red flags. Carmen Jorda (Bamboo Engineering) and Emanuele Zonzini (Trident) spun off into the gravel trap as the rain pounded down which caused two short interruptions at the close of the morning session.

Niederhauser’s quickest time was almost half a second faster than his teammate Fontana with Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing), Cassidy, Giovanni Venturini (Trident), Daniil Kvyat (MW Arden), Harvey, Facu Regalia (ART Grand Prix), Dino Zamparelli (Marussia Manor Racing) and Conor Daly (ART Grand Prix) rounding out the top ten at the chequered flag.

Heavy rain hammered down and the temperature dropped as the afternoon session got underway as the drivers wrestled with the wet conditions. There were a number of red flags in the afternoon session which included Josh Webster, Regalia, Samin Gomez, Zonzini, McKee and Daly who had minor offs as the treacherous weather continued to cause drivers a headache. Daly held top spot in the standings with the Koiranen GP duo of Kevin Korjus and Aaro Vainio second and third as the drivers concentrated on wet weather set-up.

Carlos Sainz Jnr (MW Arden) went into the tyre barrier at turn three which had been problematic for a number of drivers, thus causing significant damage to his car which brought the red flag out. In the final part of the session Vainio shot to P1 with Harvey into P2. Harvey ran off track at the end of the session which meant the session ended under red flag conditions. Therefore Vainio remained at the head of the timings in front of Harvey, Daly, Korjus, Eric Lichtenstein, Regalia, Venturini, Jimmy Eriksson (Status Grand Prix), Nick Yelloly (Carlin) and Zamparelli.

Patric Niederhauser commented: “I have so much fun driving the second generation car, it’s very challenging. The speed differential between the GP3/13 and GP3/10 car is immense and I feel there are still improvements to come within the car set-up as this is only the second test. Driver skill is really tested as you have to adapt your driving style to suit the needs and the power of the machine. Fast corners are much trickier to control. Tyre management is even more important this year and it’s the perfect preparation to learn and progress to GP2 and Formula 1.”

The final official pre-season test takes place at Silverstone on 03-04 April before the first round gets underway in May at Barcelona.

Day 2: Morning
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Patric Niederhauser
Jenzer Motorsport
1:33.750
19
2.
Alex Fontana
Jenzer Motorsport
1:34.176
24
3.
Tio Ellinas
Marussia Manor Racing
1:34.209
27
4.
Nick Cassidy
Marussia Manor Racing
1:34.219
23
5.
Giovanni Venturini
Trident
1:34.411
21
6.
Daniil Kvyat
MW Arden
1:34.441
32
7.
Jack Harvey
ART Grand Prix
1:34.491
19
8.
Facu Regalia
ART Grand Prix
1:34.519
29
9.
Dino Zamparelli
Marussia Manor Racing
1:34.520
30
10.
Conor Daly
ART Grand Prix
1:34.576
29
11.
Carlos Sainz Jnr
MW Arden
1:34.601
27
12.
Nick Yelloly
Carlin
1:34.668
25
13.
David Fumanelli
MW Arden
1:34.720
21
14.
Kevin Korjus
Koiranen GP
1:34.737
17
15.
Jimmy Eriksson
Status Grand Prix
1:34.738
16
16.
Robert Visoiu
MW Arden
1:34.738
25
17.
Patrick Kujala
Koiranen GP
1:34.844
20
18.
Emanuele Zonzini
Trident
1:34.976
19
19.
Adderly Fong
Status Grand Prix
1:35.159
13
20.
Aaro Vainio
Koiranen GP
1:35.328
15
21.
Luis Sa Silva
Carlin
1:35.447
27
22.
Josh Webster
Carlin
1:35.629
16
23.
Samin Gomez
Jenzer Motorsport
1:36.072
18
24.
Eric Lichtenstein
Carlin
1:36.209
28
25.
Melville McKee
Bamboo Engineering
1:36.336
27
26.
Ryan Cullen
Bamboo Engineering
1:37.128
22
27.
Carmen Jorda
Bamboo Engineering
1:38.378
21
 
 
Day 2: Afternoon
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Aaro Vainio
Koiranen GP
1:54.509
22
2.
Jack Harvey
ART Grand Prix
1:56.109
16
3.
Conor Daly
ART Grand Prix
1:56.305
25
4.
Kevin Korjus
Koiranen GP
1:56.385
36
5.
Eric Lichtenstein
Carlin
1:57.161
23
6.
Facu Regalia
ART Grand Prix
1:57.234
21
7.
Giovanni Venturini
Trident
1:57.622
17
8.
Jimmy Eriksson
Status Grand Prix
1:57.843
28
9.
Nick Yelloly
Carlin
1:58.106
19
10.
Dino Zamparelli
Marussia Manor Racing
1:58.183
14
11.
Adderly Fong
Status Grand Prix
1:59.207
24
12.
David Fumanelli
Trident
1:59.252
18
13.
Josh Webster
Status Grand Prix
1:59.568
12
14.
Emanuele Zonzini
Trident
2:00.464
16
15.
Patrick Kujala
Koiranen GP
2:01.289
21
16.
Ryan Cullen
Bamboo Engineering
2:01.476
15
17.
Carlos Sainz Jnr
MW Arden
2:01.903
2
18.
Luis Sa Silva
Carlin
2:02.681
26
19.
Melville McKee
Bamboo Engineering
2:03.899
7
20.
Nick Cassidy
Marussia Manor Racing
2:07.770
5
21.
Alex Fontana
Jenzer Motorsport
2:22.905
5
22.
Carmen Jorda
Bamboo Engineering
-
7
23.
Robert Visoiu
MW Arden
-
9
24.
Daniil Kvyat
MW Arden
-
2
25.
Samin Gomez
Jenzer Motorsport
-
6
26.
Patric Niederhauser
Jenzer Motorsport
-
 
27.
Tio Ellinas
Marussia Manor Racing
-
3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

source: GP3 Series