Rapax’s Stefano Coletti topped the timesheets on the opening day of testing at a rain-hit Barcelona.
Coletti was fastest overall after setting his quickest time in the afternoon session once the track had started to dry after James Calado set the morning pace in damp conditions. The Monegasque driver took full advantage as the rain began to disperse, and his best time of 1m29.868s in the closing stages was enough to edge out Carlin’s Felipe Nasr and Robin Frijns, who was again testing for Trident.
The three were the only men to dip under the 1m 30 barrier, with early pacesetter Calado fourth fastest overall for ART, after finishing over a second quicker than anyone else in the morning session. The treacherous morning conditions curtailed the session on three occasions.
Rio Haryanto clipped the Turn 2 barrier and Kevin Giovesi stopped at Turn 8 in the first hour of the session, while offs for Rodolfo Gonzalez and Ma Qing Hua brought the morning running to a premature end. As conditions dried in the afternoon, the lap times dropped significantly with Tom Dillmann and team mate Luciano Bacheta immediately setting the pace for newcomers Russian Time.
Yet as the final hour of the session approached it was Coletti, Frijns and Daniel de Jong jostling for position at the top of the timesheets. Frijns was the first man to bag a lap time under the 1m30 bracket before he was first pipped by Nasr and then Coletti, who went quickest of all in the dying moments of the session.