The closing day of the collective GP2 test at Barcelona has gone the way of Racing Engineering German rookie Christian Vietoris, and with a total of six rookies inside the top ten, the 2010 running of GP2 is set up to be an extremely competitive season.
The final morning of the three day test saw Vietoris set the days fastest time one hour after the pit lane had opened for the competitors to hit the track. It was a great morning for the Racing Engineering outfit, as Dani Clos ended the three hour session in third, having been edged out of second by the iSport International car of Oliver Turvey.
The three hour morning session produced a pair of red flags, firstly to clear up the accident at turn five involving DAMS Ho-Pin Tung and Trident Racing's Adrian Zaugg then to recover the stricken ART Grand Prix car of Jules Bianchi, who hit the turn three barrier after a technical gremlin.
Even with the gremlin, Bianchi still ended the morning as the fifth fastest driver, with only nine laps completed before the off. Charles Pic of Arden finished the session fourth, while behind ART Grand Prix rookie Bianchi was day two pace setter Jerome d'Ambrosio of DAMS, the flying Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado of Rapax, the Super Nova Racing pairing of Josef Kral and Marcus Ericsson with Sergio Perez rounding out the top ten. The top fourteen drivers were all within a second of the fastest time set by Vietoris.
Day three morning times:
|1||Christian Vietoris||GER||Racing Engineering||1:27.284s|
|2||Oliver Turvey||GBR||iSport International||1:27.555s|
|3||Dani Clos||ESP||Racing Engineering||1:27.614s|
|4||Charles Pic||FRA||Arden International||1:27.786s|
|5||Jules Bianchi||FRA||ART Grand Prix||1:27.916s|
|8||Josef Kral||CZE||Super Nova Racing||1:27.985s|
|9||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Super Nova Racing||1:27.987s|
|10||Sergio Perez||MEX||Barwa Addax Team||1:27.998s|
|11||Fabio Leimer||SUI||Ocean Racing Technology||1:28.005s|
|12||Davide Valsecchi||ITA||iSport International||1:28.086s|
|13||Giedo Van Der Garde||NED||Barwa Addax Team||1:28.119s|
|14||Alberto Valerio||BRA||Scuderia Coloni||1:28.141s|
|17||Vladimir Arabadzhiev||BUL||Scuderia Coloni||1:28.767s|
|18||Sam Bird||GBR||ART Grand Prix||1:28.783s|
|20||Rodolfo Gonzalez||VEN||Arden International||1:29.369s|
|21||Max Chilton||GBR||Ocean Racing Technology||1:29.369s|
|22||Adrian Zaugg||RSA||Trident Racing||1:29.79i1|
|23||Johnny Cecotto||VEN||Trident Racing||1:29.868s|
The final session of the test saw another new name at the top of the times: iSport International with their GP2 Asia Champion Davide Valsecchi.
The majority of the afternoon session saw Ocean Racing Technology top the times with their Swiss driver Fabio Leimer, until the final thirty minutes where the times constantly changed and Valsecchi came out on top with Maldonado three hundreds of a second behind in second. Leimer secured third in the afternoon ahead of a trio of GP2 rookies – Sam Bird, Turvey and Bianchi.
Behind the rookies, Dutchman Giedo van der Garde set the seventh fastest time of the session, ahead of Max Chilton, Luiz Razia and d'Ambrosio. The top twelve drivers were all inside a second of Valsecchi's session topping time.
The next time the GP2 field will take to the track will be on the 7/8/9 May, when they support the FIA Formula One World Championship at Barcelona. This will mark the opening round of the season for the GP2 field.
Afternoon session times:
|1||Davide Valsecchi||ITA||iSport International||1:28.682s|
|3||Fabio Leimer||SUI||Ocean Racing Technology||1:28.716s|
|4||Sam Bird||GBR||ART Grand Prix||1:28.856s|
|5||Oliver Turvey||GBR||iSport International||1:28.957s|
|6||Jules Bianchi||FRA||ART Grand Prix||1:29.082s|
|7||Giedo Van Der Garde||NED||Barwa Addax Team||1:29.088s|
|8||Max Chilton||GBR||Ocean Racing Technology||1:29.212s|
|11||Charles Pic||FRA||Arden International||1:29.620s|
|12||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Super Nova Racing||1:29.620s|
|14||Johnny Cecotto||VEN||Trident Racing||1:29.870s|
|15||Adrian Zaugg||RSA||Trident Racing||1:30.088s|
|16||Josef Kral||CZE||Super Nova Racing||1:30.277s|
|18||Rodolfo Gonzalez||VEN||Arden International||1:30.531s|
|19||Vladimir Arabadzhiev||BUL||Scuderia Coloni||1:30.743s|
|20||Christian Vietoris||GER||Racing Engineering||1:30.834s|
|22||Dani Clos||ESP||Racing Engineering||1:31.000s|
|23||Alberto Valerio||BRA||Scuderia Coloni||1:31.660s|
|24||Sergio Perez||MEX||Barwa Addax Team||1:31.928s|
Photo credit: Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Media Service