Celis on top as Silverstone weekend gets underway


Credit: Klaas Norg / Dutch Photo Agency

Alfonso Celis Jr set the pace during the opening collective test session of the new era of the World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship at Silverstone on Thursday.

The Championship is predominantly supporting the World Endurance Championship this year, and it was Fortec Motorsports driver Celis Jr who set a best time of 1:41.302s to get the season underway at the home of British Motorsport.

The Mexican finished just 0.032 seconds clear of Pietro Fittipaldi of the Charouz-run Lotus team, while Matevos Isaakyan was third quickest for SMP Racing by AVF. Isaakyan missed the Silverstone round in 2016 due to his commitments in the GP3 Series, but he does not have the same issues this year, and the young Russian ended 0.610 seconds down on Celis.

Rene Binder was fourth for Lotus ahead of the second SMP Racing by AVF of Egor Orudzhev, who is racing in his third season in the category formerly known as Formula Renault 3.5, while Nelson Mason, a last minute addition to the field, was sixth fastest for Teo Martin Motorsport. The Canadian had tested for the team during pre-season testing, but was only confirmed to the race seat on Thursday.

EuroFormula Open graduate Diego Menchaca was seventh for Fortec Motorsports ahead of the second Teo Martin entry of Konstantin Tereschenko, while Damiano Fioravanti of Il Barone Rampante ended the session ninth ahead of RP Motorsport’s Roy Nissany. Fioravanti had been scheduled to race for RP but Nissany came in to replace him during the last pre-season test, with the Italian switching to the other Italian team on the grid instead.

Just twelve cars are racing this weekend, with the field being rounded out by Giuseppe Cipriani and Yu Kanamaru, racing for Il Barone Rampante and RP Motorsport respectively.

Silverstone Collective Test 1 Result

POSNO.DRIVERNATTEAMTIME
17Alfonso Celis JrMEXFortec Motorsports1:41.302
24Pietro FittipaldiBRZLotus1:41.334
36Matevos IsaakyanRUSSMP Racing by AVF1:41.912
43Rene BinderAUTLotus1:41.929
55Egor OrudzhevRUSSMP Racing by AVF1:42.048
610Nelson MasonCANTeo Martin Motorsport1:42.680
78Diego MenchacaMEXFortec Motorsports1:43.389
89Konstantin TereschenkoRUSTeo Martin Motorsport1:44.236
916Damiano FioravantiITABarone Rampante1:44.660
1011Roy NissanyISRRP Motorsport1:44.680
1115Giuseppe CiprianiITABarone Rampante1:44.802
1212Yu KanamaruJAPRP Motorsport1:46.039