ART Grand Prix‘s Jake Hughes took the honours of ending the first session of the 2018 GP3 Series as fastest at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The Briton finished the session fastest from team-mate Anthoine Hubert and Campos Racing‘s Leonardo Pulcini.
As the 2018 GP3 Series got underway, the Arden International trio were the first to hit the circuit.
Rookies Joey Mawson and Gabriel Aubry led out team-mate Julien Falchero before they were passed on track by the MP Motorsport of Will Palmer to set the first lap time of the day.
The Briton was soon displaced by team-mate Niko Kari at the top.
Palmer and Kari whittled away at their fastest times before Campos’ Simo Laaksonen jumped ahead of the pair out front.
The Finn, maintained the top spot as the clocked ticked over the 15 minutes mark before Juan Manuel Correa took over.
Pulcini and Trident‘s Giuliano Alesi also briefly headed the standings before ART pair Hubert and Hughes occupied the top two positions – the Frenchman becoming the first to break the 1m33s barrier in doing so.
Hubert, extended his advantage out front by taking three tenths out of his own time to ensure his position on top as the session reached the half an hour mark.
Campos’ rookie Diego Menchaca had to pull over at the side of the road prompting a red flag in the session, calling a halt to the track action.
With seven minutes remaining Palmer led the field out of the pits so that running could resume.
A planned virtual safety car period was brought out with five minutes remaining, meaning there was no change to the times, but ended with enough time on the clock for a sprint to the finish.
Pedro Piquet quickly popped up in second before Hubert raised the bar even further. Hughes then snatched the top spot away in the dying moments with a lap almost half a second faster than his team-mate.
Pulcini took third with his final run, ART’s Nikita Mazepin took fourth ahead of MP’s Dorian Boccolacci.
Tatiana Calderon set a lap late on to beat Piquet to sixth; with Aubry, Kari and David Beckmann rounding off the top ten.
Qualifying for the Feature Race takes place at 17.50 local time this afternoon.
2018 GP3 Series: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya – Practice
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