Hughes Tops Practice after Late Charge through Ardennes

2016 GP3 Series Round 6. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 26 August 2016. Jake Hughes (GBR, DAMS) Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service. ref: Digital Image _L0U0302

A late lap from Jake Hughes saw him top GP3 Series practice ahead of the sixth round of the year. Hughes will hoping to continue his momentum after winning the second race in Germany last time out.

The field was greeted into the second half of the season with blue skies and warm temperatures around the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. As practice got underway, it was championship contender Antonio Fuoco who set the pace.

Making his return to the series this weekend is Oscar Tunjo. The Colombian was straight up into second for Jenzer Motorsport as the session got underway, determined to prove he’d lost none of his speed after being absent for three rounds.

The times dropped off towards the as the track rubbered in before Alex Palou found some clear air. He went over a second quicker than Fuoco and heralded in a number of personal bests from his rivals.

While Palou and Fuoco had dominated the start of the session, it was Hughes who end practice on top after a stunning lap in the dying seconds launched him up the leader board. Matt Parry had been the first driver to drop into the 2min 06 second bracket coming home in second for Koiranen GP. While completing the top three was Kevin Jorg in the DAMS.

Behind them Steijn Schothorst was fourth. The Dutch driver had followed Parry up the order and once again completed a stunning Friday performance, while Tunjo rounded out the top five.

The ART Grand Prix drivers had a surprisingly poor session with the best positioning coming from Nyck de Vries in sixth, with team-mate Charles Leclerc just behind. Arthur Janosz was eighth for Trident with early session performer Fuoco in ninth. The top ten was eventually rounded out by series debutant Niko Kari who had briefly been fastest but failed to hold on to that position at the chequered flag for Koiranen GP.

GP3 – Spa-Francorchamps Practice Results

127Jake HughesGBRDAMS2m06.160
214Matthew ParryGBRKoiranen GP2m06.174
326Kevin JoergSUIDAMS2m06.513
423Steijn SchothorstNEDCampos Racing2m06.691
519Oscar TunjoCOLJenzer Motorsport2m06.808
64Nyck de VriesNEDART Grand Prix2m06.825
71Charles LeclercMonART Grand Prix2m06.885
86Artur JanoszPOLTrident2m07.048
95Antonio FuocoITATrident2m07.085
1017Niko KariFINKoiranen GP2m07.201
112Nirei FukuzumiJPNART Grand Prix2m07.245
1220Arjun MainiINDJenzer Motorsport2m07.275
1316Matevos IsaakyanRUSKoiranen GP2m07.293
143Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix2m07.319
1522Alex PalouESPCampos Racing2m07.538
167Giuliano AlesiFRATrident2m07.964
178Sandy StuvikTHATrident2m08.213
1818Akash NandyMASJenzer Motorsport2m08.852
199Jake DennisGBRArden International2m09.004
2028Santino FerrucciUSADAMS2m09.057
2111Jack AitkenGBRArden International2m09.487
2210Tatiana CalderonCOLArden International2m10.621
2324Konstantin TereschenkoRUSCampos Racing2m10.845