21 November 2013
Aragon: Raffaele Marciello sets lap record
Raffaele Marciello set a new lap record during the second day of FR3.5 testing.
The second day of Formula Renault 3.5 testing got underway in Motorland, Aragon, gifting Motorsport's young bright hopefuls the chance to prove themselves as they continue to fight for a 2014 contract.
Rafaele Marciello was the star of testing yesterday, producing the fastest times in both the morning and the afternoon sessions. The Italian kept the momentum going throughout today's running, leading the pack once more.
Less than half-a-second separated Marciello and Carlos Sainz Jr who had his first run of the weekend at the helm of a DAMS model, the same team who claimed both the drivers and constructors titles with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver, Kevin Magnussen. Jazemann Jaafar was a further eight tenths-of-a-second behind Sainz Jr who, in turn, finished one place ahead of Will Buller. Of the top five finishers from the morning session, Marciello was the only Formula Renault 3.5 rookie.
With fourteen minutes remaining on the clock, Liam Venter was involved in the first incident of the test after losing control at the helm of his SMP Racing by Comtec. This caused the red flag to be called on the session however it was later restarted with just five minutes remaining. Venter was later confirmed to be uninjured.
Will Buller, Nick Yelloly and Marco Sorensen each took one last dash for the line, hoping to dethrone Marciello however none were successful and top honours once again fell to the Italian not long after a similar showing in GP2 tests.
As the drivers returned for the afternoon session, it was Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion, Pierre Gasly, who set the early pace. Some early drops of rain looked set to disrupt the session however, the drivers seemed able to control their tyre wear sufficiently.
Alex Lynn, the Macau GP winner last week, was the biggest faller from the afternoon after stopping on track. In his absence, Sergey Sirotkin posted the fastest time of the afternoon with Oliver Rowland never far behind in the second Fortec Motorsports model.
The last hour saw yet another dominant display from Rafaele Marciello who posted a new track record around Motorland Aragon. He remained untouched whilst Carlos Sainz Jr could only manage second once more, followed by Oliver Rowland, Jazemann Jaafar, Nikolay Martsenko and Pierre Gasly.
Only one more day of testing remains but only time will tell if anyone can catch Rafaele Marciello or whether the hat-trick of fastest laps will belong to the Italian.
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