New Zealander Richie Stanaway made an impressive start to the year by setting the fastest time in the opening 45-minute free practice session of the GP3 Series season in Spain. The Status Grand Prix driver, making his first appearance in a single-seater since breaking his back in a Formula Renault 3.5 series race in 2012, set a best lap time of 1:36.357s to finish 0.329s clear of surprise second placed Roman de Beer, the South African making his GP3 debut for Trident Racing this weekend.
In another relative surprise, third place went to Carlin’s Luis Sa Silva, the least fancied of the three Carlin drivers, with the Red Bull backed Alex Lynn back in seventh and Emil Bernstorff only eleventh.
2013 German Formula 3 Champion Marvin Kirchhofer was the fastest of the ART Grand Prix trio in fourth, with team-mates Dino Zamparelli and Alex Fontana eighth and ninth respectively. Another debutant, Koiranen GP’s Uruguayan racer Santiago Urrutia, was fifth fastest ahead of Brit Nick Yelloly in the second Status GP car, while Swede Jimmy Eriksson of Koiranen was tenth.
It was a nightmare start to the season for new team Hilmer Motorsport, as Ivan Taranov caused a brief red flag period during the session when he stopped on track, while team-mate Beitske Visser also ended the session at the side of the circuit after grinding to a halt. The third Hilmer machine of Nelson Mason caused the session to end slightly early by spinning into the turn 4 gravel trap to end a miserable day for the team.
Barcelona Free Practice Times
|1||Richie Stanaway||NZL||Status Grand Prix||1:36.357|
|2||Roman de Beer||RSA||Trident Racing||1:36.686|
|3||Luis Sa Silva||MAC||Carlin||1:36.789|
|4||Marvin Kirchhofer||GER||ART Grand Prix||1:36.817|
|5||Santiago Urrutia||URU||Koiranen GP||1:36.850|
|6||Nick Yelloly||GBR||Status Grand Prix||1:36.886|
|8||Dino Zamparelli||GBR||ART Grand Prix||1:36.987|
|9||Alex Fontana||SWI||ART Grand Prix||1:37.027|
|10||Jimmy Eriksson||SWE||Koiranen GP||1:37.029|
|12||Matheo Tuscher||SWI||Jenzer Motorsport||1:37.095|
|13||Robert Visoiu||ROM||Arden International||1:37.169|
|14||Adderley Fong||CHI||Jenzer Motorsport||1:37.403|
|15||Pal Varhaug||NOR||Jenzer Motorsport||1:37.410|
|16||Patrick Kujala||FIN||Marussia Manor Racing||1:37.446|
|17||Dean Stoneman||GBR||Marussia Manor Racing||1:37.528|
|18||Victor Carbone||BRZ||Trident Racing||1:37.646|
|19||Patric Niederhauser||SWI||Arden International||1:37.818|
|20||Beitske Visser||NED||Hilmer Motorsport||1:37.872|
|21||Jann Mardenborough||GBR||Arden International||1:37.886|
|22||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||Status Grand Prix||1:37.950|
|23||Denis Nagulin||RUS||Trident Racing||1:38.344|
|24||Ryan Cullen||GBR||Marussia Manor Racing||1:38.406|
|25||Ivan Taranov||RUS||Hilmer Motorsport||1:38.858|
|26||Nelson Mason||CAN||Hilmer Motorsport||1:39.336|
|27||Carmen Jorda||ESP||Koiranen GP||1:40.239|