Felipe Nasr and Kevin Magnussen both took turns at the top of the timesheets throughout Friday practice, as the Cooper Tyres British Formula 3 International Series prepares for Rounds 13-15 at the famous NÃ¼rburgring circuit this weekend. The pair of Carlin drivers hassled each other for much of the afternoon – and were entirely in a league of their own during the wet morning session, before the team-mates continued their tit-for-tat fight into the drier afternoon.
Much like he did during the last races at Brands Hatch, championship leader Nasr mastered the wet conditions that hampered the rest of the pack, eventually setting a lap-time that was half a second faster than Magnussen, with no other driver managing to get into the 2:10s.
Both Nasr and Magnussen do have experience – and race wins – to their names from junior Formulae, which partially explains their impressive pace, but it was the young Brazilian who took charge of the session. He commented afterwards: “The car felt great in the wet and in the dry,” said Nasr, “and I have raced here in all weathers, so I am feeling confident for the weekend and looking forward to it.”
The dry afternoon session however, saw Magnussen seize the upper hand by a mere six-hundredths of a second. The Dane pipped Nasr to the top of the timesheets by being the only man to squeeze into the 1:53s. Magnussen is certainly in need of a positive weekend, after electrical problems that lead to a misfiring engine plagued his weekend at Brands Hatch – forcing him to fight from the pitlane in Round 11.
Carlin were in dominant form throughout both sessions, claiming the top 5 positions overall with Carlos Huertas, Jazeman Jaafar and Rupert Svendsen-Cook respectively. An impressive display from Hywel Lloyd for Sino Vision saw him place the 6th fastest time ahead of Round 11 race-winner Harry Tincknell. Scott Pye took 8th by 0.002 of a second from Pipo Derani, with Pietro Fantin rounding out the Top 10.
In the Rookie Class, it was business as usual for Bart Hylkema, who decisively out-paced rookie rival Kotaro Sakurai in both sessions.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Official testing, NÃ¼rburgring / 1/7/2011
1 Kevin MAGNUSSEN / DEN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 10.546 / 1m 53.965s
2 Felipe NASR / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 10.081s / 1m 54.025s
3 Carlos HUERTAS / COL, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 12.329s / 1m 54.166s
4 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 12.598s / 1m 54.260s
5 Rupert SVENDSEN-COOK / GBR, Carlin Dallara-VW 2m 11.742s / 1m 54.424s
6 Hywel LLOYD / GBR, Sino Vision Dallara-Mercedes 2m 14.374s / 1m 54.642s
7 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 2m 11.993s / 1m 54.650s
8 Scott PYE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes 2m 13.129s / 1m 54.906s
9 Pipo DERANI / BRA, Double R Dallara-Mercedes 2m 11.590s / 1m 54.908s
10 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen 2m 12.426s / 1m 54.953s etc
1 Bart HYLKEMA / NED, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda 2m 13.892s / 1m 56.503s
2 Kotaro SAKURAI / JPN, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda 2m 16.029s / 1m 57.956s
Full timesheets http://bit.ly/mvDuGy
Saturday’s Qualifying session begins at 10.25am local time (BST +1)