Daniel Abt - Photo Credit: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service

Daniel Abt - Photo Credit: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service

German driver Daniel Abt was the man to beat on the first day of the GP3 test at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, posting the fastest times in both the morning and afternoon sessions for champions Lotus ART.

Abt, who turns 19 next Saturday, was the first man to go below 1m40s in a session that started on a damp track. As conditions improved over the duration of the session he would eventually get his laptime down to a 1m27.505s

This put him more than six tenths clear of anyone else, with Italian Formula Abarth champion Patric Niederhauser second fastest for Jenzer Motorsport. The Swiss driver was just 0.002s ahead of another ART driver – Brazilian Victor Guerin, who this year raced in Italian F3.

Conor Daly returned to the GP3 cockpit after a good debut season in Europe for Carlin, and was fourth quickest in the morning ahead of fellow 2011 season drivers Matias Laine (Marussia Manor) and Marlon Stockinger (ART).

Formula Renault UK race winners Tio Ellinas and Will Stevens were next up for Manor and MW Arden respectively, with Maxim Zimin and the 2010 Formula Renault UK champion Tom Blomqvist completing the top ten.

In the afternoon session it was Laine who sat in P1 for the majority of the time, but Abt stole top spot away with just 20 minutes of the session remaining. He had shaved six tenths off his morning benchmark, enough to leave him a tenth ahead of Formula Abarth driver Michael Heche of Jenzer.

Laine ended up third ahead of Ellinas, Stevens and another Formula Renault UK alumni Tamas Pal Kiss (Atech CRS). Japanese F3 champion Yuhi Sekiguchi was seventh fastest for Mucke Motorsport after his impressive fourth place finish at Macau with the German squad last weekend. Niederhauser was eighth fastest, ahead of Blomqvist and Daly.

Morning times: 

Pos Driver Nat Team Time Gap Laps
1 Abt,Daniel GER Lotus ART 01:27,505   32
2 Niederhauser,Patric SUI Jenzer Motorsport 01:28,141 0,636 39
3 Guerin,Victor BRA Lotus ART 01:28,143 0,638 32
4 Daly,Conor USA Carlin 01:28,186 0,681 33
5 Laine,Matias FIN Marussia Manor 01:28,237 0,732 23
6 Stockinger,Marlon PHI Lotus ART 01:28,321 0,816 36
7 Ellinas,Tio GBR Marussia Manor 01:28,443 0,938 27
8 Stevens,Will GBR MW Arden 01:28,566 1,061 37
9 Zimin,Maxim RUS MW Arden 01:28,596 1,091 35
10 Blomqvist,Tom GBR Status G.P. 01:28,609 1,104 37
11 Buller,Will GBR Carlin 01:28,771 1,266 40
12 Pal Kiss,Tamas HUN Atech CRS GP 01:28,870 1,365 13
13 Sekiguchi,Yuhi JPN Mucke MS 01:29,399 1,894 21
14 Visoiu,Robert ROM Jenzer Motorsport 01:29,651 2,146 33
15 Gamberini,Fabio BRA MW Arden 01:29,743 2,238 36
16 Regalia,Facu ARG Status G.P. 01:29,943 2,438 37
17 Sakurai,Kotaro JPN Status G.P. 01:30,187 2,682 37
18 Camplese,Lorenzo ITA Tech1 Racing 01:30,368 2,863 30
19 Wehrlein,Pascal GER Mucke MS 01:30,442 2,937 24
20 Cerruti,Michela ITA Addax Team 01:31,083 3,578 33
21 Suranovich,Dmitry RUS Marussia Manor 01:31,181 3,676 36
22 Ringel,Ethan USA Atech CRS GP 01:31,510 4,005 24
23 Toledano,Picho MEX Tech1 Racing 01:32,436 4,931 33
24 Grigorenko,Yuri RUS Addax Team 01:32,837 5,332 44
25 Heche,Michael SUI Jenzer Motorsport 01:43,173 15,668 10

Afternoon times:

Pos Driver Nat Team Time Gap Laps
1 Abt,Daniel GER Lotus ART 01:26,935   29
2 Heche,Michael SUI Jenzer Motorsport 01:27,049 0,114 36
3 Laine,Matias FIN Marussia Manor 01:27,122 0,187 25
4 Ellinas,Tio GBR Marussia Manor 01:27,140 0,205 32
5 Stevens,Will GBR MW Arden 01:27,270 0,335 34
6 Pal Kiss,Tamas HUN Atech CRS GP 01:27,279 0,344 25
7 Sekiguchi,Yuhi JPN Mucke 01:27,411 0,476 20
8 Niederhauser,Patric SUI Jenzer Motorsport 01:27,470 0,535 37
9 Blomqvist,Tom GBR Status G.P. 01:27,476 0,541 33
10 Daly,Conor USA Carlin 01:27,518 0,583 40
11 Zimin,Maxim RUS MW Arden 01:27,770 0,835 34
12 Gamberini,Fabio BRA MW Arden 01:27,807 0,872 26
13 Stockinger,Marlon PHI Lotus ART 01:27,822 0,887 23
14 Guerin,Victor BRA Lotus ART 01:27,927 0,992 28
15 Camplese,Lorenzo ITA Tech1 Racing 01:28,062 1,127 33
16 Visoiu,Robert ROM Jenzer Motorsport 01:28,129 1,194 24
17 Buller,Will GBR Carlin 01:28,238 1,303 29
18 Regalia,Facu ARG Status G.P. 01:28,262 1,327 39
19 Suranovich,Dmitry RUS Marussia Manor 01:28,497 1,562 43
20 Sakurai,Kotaro JPN Status G.P. 01:28,836 1,901 22
21 Wehrlein,Pascal GER Mucke MS 01:28,892 1,957 28
22 Ringel,Ethan USA Atech CRS GP 01:29,203 2,268 37
23 Grigorenko,Yuri RUS Addax Team 01:29,370 2,435 48
24 Cerruti,Michela ITA Addax Team 01:30,213 3,278 47
25 Toledano,Picho MEX Tech1 Racing 01:30,690 3,755 37