CLICK HERE for the combined times from the first day of F3.5 V8 testing from Jerez, Spain
Egor Orudzhev staked his claim on a competitive seat for the 2016 Formula 3.5 V8 championship after topping the time sheets in the afternoon of post-season testing at Jerez.
The Russian was tenth at the close of morning running but improved in dry conditions to lead the way for British outfit, Arden Motorsport. The teenager returned to the cockpit of his 2015 after a successful rookie season which included two wins.
Orudzhev was the only driver to rival Yu Kanamaru's morning time of 1m 28.067s, finishing second behind the Japanese driver in the Pons Racing car. Jake Hughes improved by seven tenths-of-a-second in the second session to finish the first day in third with the Strakka Racing squad.
Matthieu Vaxiviere was by the far the most experienced driver on the track and secured new team Sprit of Race a solid performance for fourth as their only representative over the next two days. Their pace comes following the news that two new teams, Teo Martin Motorsport and RP Motorsport announced their intentions to join the 2016 grid - however, Vaxiviere is not expected to continue with the championship formerly known as Formula Renault 3.5 next year.
New Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion was in fifth for team title holders Fortec Motorsport with Marvin Kirchhofer sixth for an ever-improving AVF, driving the seat once belonging to Beitske Visser. Gustav Malja secured two podiums in 2015 and continued his steady run of form with seventh, one tenth faster than FR2.0 NEC victor Louis Deletraz. Deletraz, the son of Jean-Denis, will be well known to regular followers of FR3.5 after making a one-off performance for Comtec Racing mid-season.
Further down the order, FIA Formula 3 driver George Russell was ninth while an off into the gravel did not stop Matevos Isaakyan from sneaking inside the top ten in the second Pons Racing model. Alfonso Celis Jr. was just three tenths from catching Russian Isakkyan but settles for 11th overall. Force India junior driver Jehan Daruvala was a big name faller outside the top ten, ultimately sitting 15th at the end of day one after an impressive showing in FR2.0 Eurocup testing yesterday.
Day two of F3.5 V8 testing will begin Wednesday morning from Jerez ahead of the season opener at Motorland in April.