Stanaway Quickest on Single-Seater Return as GP3 gets Underway


New Zealander Richie Stanaway made an impressive start to the year by setting the fastest time in the opening 45-minute free practice session of the GP3 Series season in Spain. The Status Grand Prix driver, making his first appearance in a single-seater since breaking his back in a Formula Renault 3.5 series race in 2012, set a best lap time of 1:36.357s to finish 0.329s clear of surprise second placed Roman de Beer, the South African making his GP3 debut for Trident Racing this weekend.

In another relative surprise, third place went to Carlin’s Luis Sa Silva, the least fancied of the three Carlin drivers, with the Red Bull backed Alex Lynn back in seventh and Emil Bernstorff only eleventh.

2013 German Formula 3 Champion Marvin Kirchhofer was the fastest of the ART Grand Prix trio in fourth, with team-mates Dino Zamparelli and Alex Fontana eighth and ninth respectively. Another debutant, Koiranen GP’s Uruguayan racer Santiago Urrutia, was fifth fastest ahead of Brit Nick Yelloly in the second Status GP car, while Swede Jimmy Eriksson of Koiranen was tenth.

It was a nightmare start to the season for new team Hilmer Motorsport, as Ivan Taranov caused a brief red flag period during the session when he stopped on track, while team-mate Beitske Visser also ended the session at the side of the circuit after grinding to a halt. The third Hilmer machine of Nelson Mason caused the session to end slightly early by spinning into the turn 4 gravel trap to end a miserable day for the team.

Barcelona Free Practice Times

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Richie Stanaway NZL Status Grand Prix 1:36.357
2 Roman de Beer RSA Trident Racing 1:36.686
3 Luis Sa Silva MAC Carlin 1:36.789
4 Marvin Kirchhofer GER ART Grand Prix 1:36.817
5 Santiago Urrutia URU Koiranen GP 1:36.850
6 Nick Yelloly GBR Status Grand Prix 1:36.886
7 Alex Lynn GBR Carlin 1:36.950
8 Dino Zamparelli GBR ART Grand Prix 1:36.987
9 Alex Fontana SWI ART Grand Prix 1:37.027
10 Jimmy Eriksson SWE Koiranen GP 1:37.029
11 Emil Bernstorff GBR Carlin 1:37.066
12 Matheo Tuscher SWI Jenzer Motorsport 1:37.095
13 Robert Visoiu ROM Arden International 1:37.169
14 Adderley Fong CHI Jenzer Motorsport 1:37.403
15 Pal Varhaug NOR Jenzer Motorsport 1:37.410
16 Patrick Kujala FIN Marussia Manor Racing 1:37.446
17 Dean Stoneman GBR Marussia Manor Racing 1:37.528
18 Victor Carbone BRZ Trident Racing 1:37.646
19 Patric Niederhauser SWI Arden International 1:37.818
20 Beitske Visser NED Hilmer Motorsport 1:37.872
21 Jann Mardenborough GBR Arden International 1:37.886
22 Alfonso Celis Jr MEX Status Grand Prix 1:37.950
23 Denis Nagulin RUS Trident Racing 1:38.344
24 Ryan Cullen GBR Marussia Manor Racing 1:38.406
25 Ivan Taranov RUS Hilmer Motorsport 1:38.858
26 Nelson Mason CAN Hilmer Motorsport 1:39.336
27 Carmen Jorda ESP Koiranen GP 1:40.239