Tio Ellinas was fastest on the opening day of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series pre-season testing in Jerez as Dean Stoneman escaped unhurt from a huge crash during the afternoon.
Strakka Racing’s Ellinas completed 59 laps on day one, with a best time of 1m27.430s, 0.004s faster than Oliver Rowland of Fortec Motorsports.
Morning session pacesetter Roberto Merhi was unable to improve his time in the afternoon and slipped to third on his first test with Pons Racing, while Jazeman Jaafar, only yesterday confirmed as the second Fortec driver, was fourth fastest.
Beitske Visser was the busiest driver on day one, with the Dutch female driver completing 73 laps of the Circuito de Jerez, ending up fifth quickest overall for AVF, just ahead of Pietro Fantin of International Draco Racing.
Meindert van Buuren was seventh quickest for the Charouz-run Lotus team, ahead of DAMS driver Stoneman, who ended his running in spectacular fashion after a crash at the fast left-hand turn 7 corner.
It is believe that the Red Bull-backed Briton was caught out by the gusting wind, with his car hitting one wall before striking a second barrier that caused the car to spin several times before coming to a rest, with the gearbox breaking away from the car. Stoneman was taken to the Jerez medical centre where after twenty minutes of being checked over, was given the all clear.
Nicholas Latifi was ninth quickest for Arden Motorsport, just ahead of Gustav Malja in the second Strakka Racing entry.
Twenty-two cars took to the track on the opening day of the test, with Philo Paz Patrick Armand testing for Pons Racing and Johnny Cecotto Jr in the second Zeta Corse machine alongside Facu Regalia.
Comtec Racing were absent from the test altogether, throwing further doubts about their future participation in the series.
Circuito de Jerez Pre-Season Test 1 Day 1 Times
|1||11||Tio Ellinas||CYP||Strakka Racing||1m27.430s||59|
|2||4||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||1m27.434s||60|
|3||40||Roberto Merhi||ESP||Pons Racing||1m27.579s||54|
|4||3||Jazeman Jaafar||MAL||Fortec Motorsports||1m27.732s||60|
|6||19||Pietro Fantin||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1m27.966s||42|
|7||10||Meindert van Buuren||NED||Lotus||1m28.074s||51|
|9||5||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Arden Motorsport||1m28.250s||57|
|10||12||Gustav Malja||SWE||Strakka Racing||1m28.338s||46|
|11||1||Nyck de Vries||NED||DAMS||1m28.460s||41|
|12||6||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||Arden Motorsport||1m28.470s||58|
|13||26||Tom Dillmann||FRA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1m28.504s||41|
|14||39||Philo Paz Patrick Armand||INO||Pons Racing||1m28.515s||59|
|15||15||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||AVF||1m28.638s||44|
|17||7||Facu Regalia||ARG||Zeta Corse||1m28.844s||55|
|18||25||Sean Galael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||1m28.965s||53|
|19||8||Johnny Cecotto Jr||VEN||Zeta Corse||1m29.112s||38|
|20||20||Bruno Bonifacio||BRZ||International Draco Racing||1m29.320s||71|
|21||18||Aurelien Panis||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||1m29.660s||63|
|22||17||Roy Nissany||ISR||Tech 1 Racing||1m30.229s||41|