Dino Zamparelli Fastest on First Day in Estoril


New ART Grand Prix driver Dino Zamparelli finished on top of the first day of the first GP3 series pre-season test in Estoril.  The British driver was fastest in the morning session and his lap time of 1:29.145s was not beaten in the afternoon, when rain spread across the circuit 45 minutes into session.  Jimmy Eriksson was second fastest during the day, the Koiranen GP driver setting his best time just before the rain set in.

Red Bull junior driver Alex Lynn was third fastest for Carlin, just ahead of team-mate and fellow Brit Emil Bernstorff.  British drivers took five of the top six places, with Nick Yelloly ending the day fifth for Status Grand Prix, while Dean Stoneman placed sixth for Marussia Manor Racing.  The only other driver to dip under a 1:30s lap time was New Zealander Richie Stanaway, who is aiming to return to single seater racing in 2014 after suffering a back injury in a Formula Renault 3.5 series crash in 2012.

South African racer Roman de Beer impressed on his first day in the car for Trident Racing, ending up eighth fastest, while 2013 German Formula 3 champion Marvin Kirchhofer ended ninth in the second ART Grand Prix machine, just ahead of Romanian Robert Visoiu in the fastest of the three Arden International cars.

There were two red flags during the day, with Brazilian Victor Carbone stopping on track in his Trident Racing car, while the Carlin machine of Luis Sa Silva spun off in the wet conditions in the afternoon.

The second and final day of the test is tomorrow, with one driver change announced.  Stanaway is vacating the car with Spaniard Roberto Merhi, who tested earlier this week in a Formula Renault 3.5 series car, stepping in.

Estoril Day 1 Pre-season Test Times

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Dino Zamparelli GBR ART Grand Prix 1:29.145
2 Jimmy Eriksson SWE Koiranen GP 1:29.183
3 Alex Lynn GBR Carlin 1:29.402
4 Emil Bernstorff GBR Carlin 1:29.575
5 Nick Yelloly GBR Status Grand Prix 1:29.666
6 Dean Stoneman GBR Marussia Manor Racing 1:29.781
7 Richie Stanaway NZL Status Grand Prix 1:29.922
8 Roman De Beer RSA Trident Racing 1:30.029
9 Marvin Kirchhofer GER ART Grand Prix 1:30.105
10 Robert Visoiu ROM Arden International 1:30.126
11 Luis Sa Silva ANG Carlin 1:30.260
12 Melville McKee GBR Jenzer Motorsport 1:30.267
13 Santiago Urrutia URU Koiranen GP 1:30.295
14 Nelson Mason CAN Trident Racing 1:30.339
15 Ryan Cullen GBR Marussia Manor Racing 1:30.356
16 Alex Fontana SWI ART Grand Prix 1:30.815
17 Jann Mardenborough GBR Arden International 1:30.907
18 Patrick Kujala FIN Marussia Manor Racing 1:30.911
19 Alfonso Celis Jr MEX Status Grand Prix 1:30.980
20 Patric Niederhauser SWI Arden International 1:31.174
21 Adderly Fong CHN Jenzer Motorsport 1:31.243
22 Pal Varhaug NOR Jenzer Motorsport 1:32.393
23 Victor Carbone BRZ Trident Racing 1:32.538
24 Carmen Jorda ESP Koiranen GP 1:36.439