Binder and Lotus on top in Bahrain Collective Tests

by Paul Hensby

Rene Binder was quickest overall during the Collective Test sessions at the Bahrain International Circuit as the final round of the World Series Formula V8 3.5 season got underway on Thursday.

The Lotus driver, one of five drivers racing this weekend still in with a chance of the championship, set the pace in the night session in Bahrain with a best lap of 1:44.153s, more than half a second ahead of Fortec MotorsportsDiego Menchaca.

Alfonso Celis Jr. followed his Fortec team-mate in third, a further 0.259 seconds back, while Matevos Isaakyan, currently second in the championship standings, ten points behind Pietro Fittipaldi, was fourth.

Konstantin Tereschenko, racing this weekend for SMP Racing by AVF in place of the ill Egor Orudzhev after Teo Martin Motorsport decided not to race in Bahrain, was fifth ahead of debutant Henrique Chaves of AVF, while Lotus’ Fittipaldi trailed down in eighth behind RP Motorsport’s Roy Nissany, with Yu Kanamaru and Tatiana Calderon completing the field.

The earlier session saw Menchaca on top with a 1:45.246s, 0.315 seconds ahead of Fittipaldi, with Tereschenko up in third ahead of Binder and Isaakyan.

Just ten cars are racing this weekend, with Teo Martin Motorsport and Il Barone Rampante not making the trip, but Isaakyan, Celis Jr., Binder and Nissany are all in with a chance of the title this weekend, although Fittipaldi can clinch the title in race one should other result go his way.

Bahrain International Circuit Collective Test 1 Result

18Diego MenchacaMEXFortec Motorsports1:45.246
24Pietro FittipaldiBRZLotus1:45.561
35Konstantin TereschenkoRUSSMP Racing by AVF1:45.695
43Rene BinderAUTLotus1:45.741
56Matevos IsaakyanRUSSMP Racing by AVF1:45.935
612Yu KanamaruJAPRP Motorsport1:46.333
77Alfonso Celis JrMEXFortec Motorsports1:46.341
817Henrique ChavesPORAVF1:46.837
921Tatiana CalderonCOLRP Motorsport1:47.258
1011Roy NissanyISRRP Motorsport1:48.508

Bahrain International Circuit Collective Test 2 Result

13Rene BinderAUTLotus1:44.153
28Diego MenchacaMEXFortec Motorsports1:44.729
37Alfonso Celis JrMEXFortec Motorsports1:44.988
46Matevos IsaakyanRUSSMP Racing by AVF1:45.044
55Konstantin TereschenkoRUSSMP Racing by AVF1:45.103
617Henrique ChavesPORAVF1:45.337
711Roy NissanyISRRP Motorsport1:45.690
84Pietro FittipaldiBRZLotus1:45.713
912Yu KanamaruJAPRP Motorsport1:46.045
1021Tatiana CalderonCOLRP Motorsport1:46.528

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