Davide Valsecchi ensured that he maintained his 100 per cent record in the opening pre-season test of the GP2 Series season at Jerez by posting the fastest time on the third and final day in Spain.
The Italian had already been the pacesetter on the previous two days, and confirmed his form ahead of his fifth GP2 campaign by setting the benchmark today.
A delay just 30 minutes into the day's running for a piece of kerb that had come away lasted 45 minutes, meaning the decision was taken to scrap the one hour lunch break and run through until 4pm.
Valsecchi moved to the top of the timesheets soon after the action restarted, and his time would be good enough for him to remain there until the checkered flag. Stefano Coletti was the man who got closest, the Coloni driver ending up a tenth shy.
Esteban Gutierrez took third place for Lotus GP, 0.158s adrift of Valsecchi. This was despite bringing out the red flags at one point when he found the gravel at Turn 1. Just behind was Giedo van der Garde for Caterham – who racked up the most laps of any driver during the day at 96.
Max Chilton put Carlin in fifth place, ahead of Marcus Ericsson of iSport. Tom Dillmann swapped Ocean for Rapax today and displayed his potential by going seventh fastest. Fellow GP3 graduates James Calado and Nigel Melker were next up for Lotus and Ocean respectively, with iSport's Jolyon Palmer rounding out the top ten.
He edged out British F3 champion Felipe Nasr by just one thousandth of a second, though that gap wasn't as close as the one between 12th and 13th places – with Fabio Onidi and Johnny Cecotto recording exactly the same best time.
Stephane Richelmi was 14th, ahead of Fabio Leimer, Luiz Razia and Josef Kral. Fabrizio Crestani ended the new Lazarus team's first test in 18th, ahead of Dani Clos and Simon Trummer. Julian Leal, Nathanael Berthon and Rodolfo Gonzalez were next, ahead of Kevin Ceccon who made his first appearance of the week, with Ocean. Rounding out the times were rookies Rio Haryanto and Vittorio Ghirelli.
The second and final test before the season opener in Malaysia will take place next week at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, between Tuesday and Thursday.
Day 3 results
|2.||Stefano Coletti||Scuderia Coloni||1:25.670||73|
|3.||Esteban GutiÃ©rrez||Lotus GP||1:25.725||81|
|4.||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Racing||1:25.742||96|
|6.||Marcus Ericsson||iSport International||1:25.940||55|
|8.||James Calado||Lotus GP||1:26.046||75|
|9.||Nigel Melker||Ocean Racing Technology||1:26.082||79|
|10.||Jolyon Palmer||iSport International||1:26.126||67|
|12.||Fabio Onidi||Scuderia Coloni||1:26.148||63|
|13.||Johnny Cecotto||Barwa Addax Team||1:26.148||55|
|14.||StÃ©phane Richelmi||Trident Racing||1:26.213||51|
|15.||Fabio Leimer||Racing Engineering||1:26.342||56|
|16.||Luiz Razia||Arden International||1:26.350||69|
|17.||Josef Kral||Barwa Addax Team||1:26.361||66|
|18.||Fabrizio Crestani||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:26.369||59|
|20.||Simon Trummer||Arden International||1:26.466||70|
|21.||Julian Leal||Trident Racing||1:26.611||70|
|22.||NathanaÃ«l Berthon||Racing Engineering||1:26.747||40|
|23.||Rodolfo Gonzalez||Caterham Racing||1:26.749||74|
|24.||Kevin Ceccon||Ocean Racing Technology||1:26.761||55|
|26.||Vittorio Ghirelli||Venezuela GP Lazarus||1:27.143||57|