The final day of the last collective GP3 test has seen ART Grand Prix and Esteban Gutierrez set the day's fastest time during the morning session, while the afternoon saw MW Arden and Michael Christensen come out on top.

The early running in the morning was done on wet tyres as the Barcelona track was still drying out after a rain shower. This didn't put the thirty GP3 drivers off as they all went out on track and tested their cars to the limit – this caused a stop start morning as some of them found the limits then went over them, meaning a visit to the gravel trap or the tyre walls.

As the 4.655km track dried out, the drivers were able to switch over to slicks Pirelli tyres and the times started to tumble, with pace setters ART Grand Prix seeing their young Mexican Esteban Gutierrez match his fastest lap from day one; Michael Christensen set the second fastest time of the morning.

RSC Mucke Motorsport saw their driver Renger van der Zande improving on his best time from day one after setting the third best time of the session, while young Norwegian Pal Varhaug gave Jenzer Motorsport the fourth fastest time – this was Varhaug's best GP3 performance to date.

Manor's James Jakes rounded out the top five, Gutierrez ART Grand Prix team mate Alexander Rossi set the sixth best time of the session, followed by the best of the Status GP cars, that of Daniel Morad.

Eighth went the way of the second Jenzer Motorsport car of Nico Muller, beating the sister MW Arden car of Miki Monras with Morad's team mate, Canadian Robert Wickens rounding out the top ten.

After the three hour session, which saw seven hundred and eighty-nine laps completed, totalling 3700kms covered the top ten drivers were separated by six tenths of a second.

Morning results:

Position Number Name Team Nationality Time AM
1 2 Esteban Gutierrez MEX ART Grand Prix 1:37.467s
2 20 Michael Christensen DEN MW Arden 1:37.637s
3 11 Renger Van Der Zande NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:37.666s
4 23 Pal Varhaug NOR Jenzer Motorsport 1:37.806s
5 7 James Jakes GBR Manor Racing 1:37.885s
6 1 Alexander Rossi USA ART Grand Prix 1:37.975s
7 6 Daniel Morad LIB Status Grand Prix 1:37.995s
8 25 Nico Muller SUI Jenzer Motorsport 1:38.077s
9 21 Miki Monras ESP MW Arden 1:38.085s
10 4 Robert Wickens CAN Status Grand Prix 1:38.112s
11 18 Pablo Sanchez Lopez MEX Addax Team 1:38.138s
12 10 Nigel Melker NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:38.329s
13 24 Simon Trummer SUI Jenzer Motorsport 1:38.398s
14 30 Oliver Oakes GBR Atech CRS GP 1:38.405s
15 12 Tobias Hegewald GER RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:38.417s
16 14 Josef Newgarden USA Carlin 1:38.472s
17 28 Fabio Onidi ITA Tech 1 Racing 1:38.584s
18 15 Dean Smith GBR Carlin 1:38.732s
19 29 Patrick Reiterer ITA Atech CRS GP 1:38.733s
20 17 Felipe Guimaraes BRA Addax Team 1:38.777s
21 31 Marko Asmer EST Atech CRS GP 1:38.837s
22 3 Pedro Nunes BRA ART Grand Prix 1:38.959s
23 26 Doru Secherariu ROM Tech 1 Racing 1:39.334s
24 8 Rio Haryanto INA Manor Racing 1:39.369s
25 19 Mirko Bortolotti ITA Addax Team 1:39.439s
26 16 Lucas Foresti BRA Carlin 1:39.660s
27 5 Ivan Lukashevich RUS Status Grand Prix 1:39.895s
28 22 Leonardo Cordeiro BRA MW Arden 1:40.098s
29 27 Stefano Colleti MON Tech 1 Racing 1:40.369s
30 9 Jordan Oakes GBR Manor Racing 1:42.877s

The concluding session of the two day test for the GP3 runners saw young Dane Christensen rise to the top of the times, thus denying ART Grand Prix complete domination of the Spanish test.

It was a case of last chance saloon for Christensen, who set the best time of the session right at the death, having been behind Gutierrez for the majority of the session – the ART Grand Prix driver proving he is the driver to beat in GP3 this year.

As well as the change at the top of the timings, the three hour afternoon session provided a number of other changes, with eight out of the ten teams represented inside the top ten times.

Behind Christensen and Gutierrez, van der Zande continued his strong Barcelona form with the third fastest time of the session, with Dean Smith of Carlin right behind the Dutchman. The gap between third and fourth was a tenth of a second, between Smith in fourth and Miki Monras in fifth it was eight thousands of a second.

Behind the top five from the afternoon, Morad finished sixth, with Varhaug rounding off his strongest day of GP3 testing with the seventh best time, Canadian Wickens set the eighth best time in the sister car to Morad, while a pair of Brits rounded out the top ten – James Jakes of Manor beating Oliver Oakes in the ATech CRS GP car. This was the first time Atech CRS GP had set a top ten time in GP3 testing. The top twenty-one cars were separated by less than a second.

The afternoon session saw one thousand one hundred and sixty-one laps completed, and the grand total for the two days was three thousand four hundred and seven laps, or over 15,860kms.

Speaking after the final test ahead of the opening rounds on May 8/9, Team Manager of MW Arden Julian Rouse said: “It's obviously really positive for us to finish the last test so competitively, especially as the first event is back here so shortly. ART have been so competitive, so it feels good to finally go quicker than them at a circuit on the GP3 calendar.”

Trevor Carlin, the Team Principal of Carlin commented on the tests and his team's driver signings: “I'm very happy with the testing we have completed this spring. We've have three new eager drivers in the team who have done plenty of mileage to get to grips with the car, and have been steadily improving lap by lap. Although Dean Smith has been setting the bench mark for the other drivers in Barcelona, everyone is progressing, and we now have a good bank of data to compare.

“As a team we still have a lot to learn to get the best out of the cars, but we are finding them responsive to change and easy for the teams and drivers to work with. Barcelona in three weeks time is going to be very exciting to watch.”

RSC Mucke Motorsport Team Principal, Peter Muecke said about the tests: “Over the last three GP3 tests in Paul Ricard and Barcelona we have been working to a meticulous testing program, and have been able to define a good basic setup which works well for our drivers. It is very positive to have a brand new car with such few problems. The GP3 organisers and suppliers have done a brilliant job in the season lead up to give teams such a good car, and solve any teething problems in a short time.

“All of the GP3 teams are well prepared for the first event, and we think that it is going to be a close competition between teams and drivers which will give everybody exciting races. There is still some work to do, but we will be ready!”

Simon Cayzer, Status Grand Prix Team Manager commented on his teams test and who he thinks will be strong in the forthcoming season: “It’s never easy to get on top of a brand new car, and the first test days we worked heavily on reliability. Then during the second half of the last Paul Ricard test and here at Barcelona we’ve worked on performance, and found big areas of improvement.

“ART Grand Prix look strong in all track conditions, but drivers and teams have been testing with different fuel levels and set-ups, so it’s not until qualifying at the Spanish GP that we will truly all know where we stand. What’s a clear factor, though, is that there are 30 very equal and competitive cars out there, and there will be multiple stoppages in sessions – there’s a going to be a great skill in finding a clear lap to set a time, and the fact that some front-runners will sometimes be unlucky is going to mix up the grids and make the racing even more exciting.”

Afternoon testing results:

Position Number Name Team Nationality Time PM
1 20 Michael Christensen DEN MW Arden 1:37.716s
2 2 Esteban Gutierrez MEX ART Grand Prix 1:37.769s
3 11 Renger Van Der Zande NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:37.913s
4 15 Dean Smith GBR Carlin 1:37.918s
5 21 Miki Monras ESP MW Arden 1:37.926s
6 6 Daniel Morad LIB Status Grand Prix 1:37.969s
7 23 Pal Varhaug NOR Jenzer Motorsport 1:38.024s
8 4 Robert Wickens CAN Status Grand Prix 1:38.073s
9 7 James Jakes GBR Manor Racing 1:38.327s
10 30 Oliver Oakes GBR Atech CRS GP 1:38.336s
11 25 Nico Muller SUI Jenzer Motorsport 1:38.357s
12 1 Alexander Rossi USA ART Grand Prix 1:38.376s
13 14 Josef Newgarden USA Carlin 1:38.399s
14 24 Simon Trummer SUI Jenzer Motorsport 1:38.451s
15 8 Rio Haryanto INA Manor Racing 1:38.479s
16 18 Pablo Sanchez Lopez MEX Addax Team 1:38.480s
17 17 Felipe Guimaraes BRA Addax Team 1:38.527s
18 12 Tobias Hegewald GER RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:38.549s
19 10 Nigel Melker NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 1:38.701s
20 19 Mirko Bortolotti ITA Addax Team 1:38.702s
21 27 Stefano Colleti MON Tech 1 Racing 1:38.703s
22 16 Lucas Foresti BRA Carlin 1:38.762s
23 3 Pedro Nunes BRA ART Grand Prix 1:39.051s
24 31 Marko Asmer EST Atech CRS GP 1:39.052s
25 22 Leonardo Cordeiro BRA MW Arden 1:39.186s
26 28 Fabio Onidi ITA Tech 1 Racing 1:39.197s
27 29 Patrick Reiterer ITA Atech CRS GP 1:39.273s
28 9 Jordan Oakes GBR Manor Racing 1:39.350s
29 26 Doru Secherariu ROM Tech 1 Racing 1:39.637s
30 5 Ivan Lukashevich RUS Status Grand Prix 1:39.953s