Catalan Miki Monras set the pace on home soil on the opening day of Formula 2 winter testing at Barcelona. The top three on the timesheets at the end of the day were all experienced F2 racers, but there were also creditable performance from series newcomers.
Monras, who finished fourth in the 2011 standings, set his quickest time of the day during the first of the four sessions. In the second session it was Italian youngster and GP3 regular Vittorio Ghirelli who set the pace.
Into the afternoon, and it was Romanian Mihai Marinescu, who won at Monza towards the end of the season, who posted the quickest time in the third session of the day. Monras returned to the top of the timesheets in the fourth and final session, though it was his benchmark from the opening session that had remained quickest for the entire day.
Marinescu's time gave him second place on the combined leaderboard, ahead of another F2 race-winner Christopher Zanella. Ghirelli was the top rookie in fourth, ahead of impressive German F3 driver Markus Pommer and French driver Maxime Jousse – who raced in Italian F3 this year after graduating from Formula Palmer Audi.
European F3 Open champion Alex Fontana was seventh, just ahead of Formula Ford champion Scott Malvern. Italian F3 driver Edoardo Liberati and F2 regular Kelvin Snoeks completed the top ten. Formula Renault BARC driver Hector Hurst wound up 11th fastest ahead of German Riccardo Brutschin.
Formula Renault 3.5 driver Daniel McKenzie ended 13th overall ahead of MSV F3 Cup prize winner Aaron Steele. Croatia's Sasha Radola – a former Formula Renault BARC driver – was next up in 15th, ahead of Switzerland's Mauro Calamia, Sandro Zeller and another MSV F3 Cup driver Alex Craven.
Barcelona winter testing, day one results (combined):
1. Miki Monras, 1:35.950s
2. Mihai Marinescu, +0142s
3. Christopher Zanella, +0.583s
4. Vittorio Ghirelli, +0.773s
5. Markus Pommer, +0.924s
6. Maxime Jousse, +1.342s
7. Alex Fontana, +1.489s
8. Scott Malvern, +1.691s
9. Edoardi Liberati, +1.706s
10. Kelvin Snoeks, +1.735s