GP2 Series

Valsecchi Quickest At Jerez Once Again On Day 3

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Davide Valsecchi - Photo Credit Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service

For the third day in a row, Valsecchi was the man to beat in Jerez - Photo Credit Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service

Davide Valsecchi ensured that he maintained his 100 per cent record in the opening pre-season test of the GP2 Series season at Jerez by posting the fastest time on the third and final day in Spain.

The Italian had already been the pacesetter on the previous two days, and confirmed his form ahead of his fifth GP2 campaign by setting the benchmark today.

A delay just 30 minutes into the day's running for a piece of kerb that had come away lasted 45 minutes, meaning the decision was taken to scrap the one hour lunch break and run through until 4pm.

Valsecchi moved to the top of the timesheets soon after the action restarted, and his time would be good enough for him to remain there until the checkered flag. Stefano Coletti was the man who got closest, the Coloni driver ending up a tenth shy.

Esteban Gutierrez took third place for Lotus GP, 0.158s adrift of Valsecchi. This was despite bringing out the red flags at one point when he found the gravel at Turn 1. Just behind was Giedo van der Garde for Caterham – who racked up the most laps of any driver during the day at 96.

Max Chilton put Carlin in fifth place, ahead of Marcus Ericsson of iSport. Tom Dillmann swapped Ocean for Rapax today and displayed his potential by going seventh fastest. Fellow GP3 graduates James Calado and Nigel Melker were next up for Lotus and Ocean respectively, with iSport's Jolyon Palmer rounding out the top ten.

He edged out British F3 champion Felipe Nasr by just one thousandth of a second, though that gap wasn't as close as the one between 12th and 13th places – with Fabio Onidi and Johnny Cecotto recording exactly the same best time.

Stephane Richelmi was 14th, ahead of Fabio Leimer, Luiz Razia and Josef Kral. Fabrizio Crestani ended the new Lazarus team's first test in 18th, ahead of Dani Clos and Simon Trummer. Julian Leal, Nathanael Berthon and Rodolfo Gonzalez were next, ahead of Kevin Ceccon who made his first appearance of the week, with Ocean. Rounding out the times were rookies Rio Haryanto and Vittorio Ghirelli.

The second and final test before the season opener in Malaysia will take place next week at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, between Tuesday and Thursday.

Tom Dillmann - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service

GP3 graduate Dillmann took seventh after switching to Rapax for the final day - Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service

Day 3 results

  Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:25.567 69
2. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:25.670 73
3. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:25.725 81
4. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:25.742 96
5. Max Chilton Carlin 1:25.801 70
6. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:25.940 55
7. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1:26.003 47
8. James Calado Lotus GP 1:26.046 75
9. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:26.082 79
10. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:26.126 67
11. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:26.127 58
12. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:26.148 63
13. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:26.148 55
14. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:26.213 51
15. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:26.342 56
16. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:26.350 69
17. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:26.361 66
18. Fabrizio Crestani Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:26.369 59
19. Dani Clos Rapax 1:26.453 54
20. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:26.466 70
21. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:26.611 70
22. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:26.747 40
23. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:26.749 74
24. Kevin Ceccon Ocean Racing Technology 1:26.761 55
25. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:26.958 60
26. Vittorio Ghirelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:27.143 57
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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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