Pulcini Fastest on Day 1 of Barcelona GP3 Test


Credit: Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media

Campos Racing‘s Leonardo Pulcini ended the first day of GP3 Series testing at Circuit de Catalunya yesterday fastest.

The Italian set his time in the final stages of the afternoon session to head ART Grand Prix pair Callum Ilott and Nikita Mazepin.

In the morning, it was Trident duo Alessio Lorandi and Ryan Tveter who kicked off the action on track, with MP Motorsport pair Dorian Boccolacci and Will Palmer sandwiching the third Trident of Giuliano Alesi.

Teams conducted a series of installation laps, with the drivers coming across portions of the circuit covered in dirt left over from the FIA World Rallycross Championship at the weekend.

As a result, the opening half of the morning session saw little running. ART eventually broke the lull with Ilott taking to the circuit on a set of installation tyres which were used the entire morning session in the end.

The field followed soon with David Beckmann of Jenzer Motorsport the first to commit to a series of hot laps.

With twenty minutes remaining, MP and Jenzer started trading fastest times at the top of the timesheets.

Boccolacci, Niko Kari and Tatiana Calderon all spent spells at the top in the closing fifteen minutes with the Frenchman winning that battle.

For the final five minutes a planned Virtual Safety Car test took place meaning nobody was able to improve on their time and Boccolacci ended the morning on top.

Calderon edged out Kari and Juan Manuel Correa beat Palmer to fourth.

Pulcini surged through to take sixth late on, ahead of early pacesetter Beckmann, as well as Simo Laaksonen and Diego Menchaca which meant all Campos’ were present in the top ten.

Anthoine Hubert who did not set a time on slick tyres, was tenth.

Due to the lack of running in the morning session the decision was taken to extend the afternoon session by one hour to 6pm.

Keen to get going, Kari was first on track after the lunchbreak, leading Hubert as ART, MP and Arden International ushered all their cars onto track at the start of the session.

ART trio of Hubert, Ilott and Jake Hughes began to swap places at the top of the timing boards with Boccolacci getting into the mix with the trio before Hughes became the first man to break the 1m32s barrier.

Hubert, brought out the red flag just before the two and a half hour mark after going off at Turn 3 and collecting the barrier.

Once the ART had been removed, Lorandi got the session back underway. At first there were little improvements to the times as the field focused on their race simulations.

As the session entered the final half-hour, Ilott returned to the head of timings with Mazepin coming through into second shortly after. With just five minutes left on the clock, Pulcini strung together a late hot lap to overhaul the ART drivers to end the day on top.

Ilott, Mazepin and Hughes made it an ART 2-3-4 as Trident duo Alesi and Pedro Piquet jumped ahead of the fourth ART Hubert who ended up seventh. Beckmann grabbed eighth as morning pacesetter Boccolacci ended the day in ninth with Kari rounding off the top ten.