The Raikkonen Robertson Racing pairing of Daisuke Nakajima and Carlos Huertas vaulted from midfield to set the pace on the second and final day of official testing for the Cooper Tires British F3 International Series at Snetterton.

With track conditions much improved during the afternoon, 21-year old Japanese driver Nakajima was able to get within four-hundredths of last July's pole position time for the Norfolk circuit, his Mercedes-powered Dallara setting a benchmark of 1min 02.109secs. Colombian team-mate Huertas posted the next quickest time, sitting just eight-thousandths of a second off the pace.

Carlin men Adriano Buzaid, Jean-Eric Vergne and say one pacesetter James Calado were third, fourth and fifth respectively, while Formula BMW graduate Jazeman Jaafar got to grips with the drier conditions on his first test at Snetterton. The 17-year old racer posted the third quickest time late on in the day but, as track conditions improved, the young Malaysian was pushed down the order, eventually finishing eighth overall.

Team-mates Buzaid, Vergne and Calado all traded places at the top of the timesheets as they made various set-up changes, before finishing the day inside the top five. The team's other Formula BMW graduate, Rupert Svendsen-Cook, also made good progress as he continued to get to grips with the Volkswagen-powered Dallara.

"I think we did a good job, we were consistently among the quickest over the two days, which shows we are moving in the right direction," Buzaid commented, "We did some really good development work and I think we have a good package to start the season. I'm looking forward to building on this progress at Rockingham next week."

"I'm really pleased with the team's performance this week," race director Trevor Carlin added, "It was a great start to the year and I think all five drivers did a brilliant job. We did some good work on set-up and we'll continue our test programme next week at Rockingham, where hopefully we'll have a little more dry running!"

Building on a great performance at the Norfolk track yesterday, the National Class newcomer continued to underline his wet-weather pace this morning before lapping within just 0.9 seconds of the outright International Class times this afternoon in dry conditions.

The morning's damp-then-dry session saw Fortec's new signing Oli Webb emerge on top, but a wheel-damaging incident during the afternoon hampered the his subsequent pace and he wound up seventh overall, just behind the Hitech's William Buller. Felipe Nasr and reigning National Class champion Daniel McKenzie rounded out the top ten.

T-Sport pairing Menasheh Idafar and James Cole were again the class of the thin National field., ahead of Jordan Oakes and Craig Reiff. Having positioned himself well in the overall top ten for the majority of the morning, Menasheh and the T-Sport team went on to take full advantage of the late window for slicks, emerging a superb fourth overall.

The afternoon started dry and times continued to tumble, with the 18-year old steering his Dallara-Mugen to a best time of 1m 03.029secs, placing him over three-tenths clear in the National Class battle. Idafar concluded the day 14th overall on combined times, just 0.920secs shy of Nakajima's outright best. He could have been higher had it not been for catching a small puddle at Riches Corner as he headed into a flying lap on new rubber, with the resulting excursion meant he wasn't able to dip below the 1min 03secs mark.

"This morning was really good again and to be less than a second outside the best time of the International Class frontrunners in the dry this afternoon was great," Idafar commented, "I'm really happy with how the first test has gone, I've learned a lot and made some good progress."

Testing continues at Rockingham next week, with the championship's opening rounds set for Oulton Park over the Easter weekend.

Leading performances - Snetterton (25 February):

International Class (am/pm)

Daisuke Nakajima RR Dallara-Mercedes 1m 05.555s 1m 02.109s Carlos Huertas RR Dallara-Mercedes 1m 06.055s 1m 02.117s Adriano Buzaid Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 04.600s 1m 02.120s Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 10.824s 1m 02.146s James Calado Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 04.981s 1m 02.257s William Buller Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 05.657s 1m 02.274s Oli Webb Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1m 03.802s 1m 02.370s Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 1m 06.456s 1m 02.587s Felipe Nasr RR Dallara-Mercedes 1m 04.967s 1m 02.588s Daniel McKenzie Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 1m 04.809s 1m 02.599

National Class (am/pm)

Menasheh Idafar T-Sport Dallara-Mugen 1m 04.680s 1m 03.029s James Cole T-Sport Dallara-Mugen 1m 07.583s 1m 03.364s Jordan Oakes West-Tec Dallara-Mugen 1m 10.518s 1m 03.691s Craig Reiff Litespeed Litespeed-Mugen 1m 09.734s 1m 04.280s


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