ART's Alexander Rossi eventually claimed top honours today [Friday] as the first ever GP3 Series test drew to a close at Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France.

The on-track action was non-stop during the final three hours, but in the end it was the young American, who topped the times in three out of the four sessions, that set the best time overall, a 1 minute 20.013 seconds.

Yesterday afternoon's quickest man and Rossi's team-mate Esteban Gutierrez meanwhile was next up, just 0.76 seconds slower, while Carlin's Max Chilton and Adriano Buzaid were third and fourth. Michael Christensen rounded out the top five.

"This has been a really positive first test session for us, but also for GP3 in general," reflected ART team boss, Frederic Vasseur. "Our cars have been consistently reliable throughout the two days, and we have covered a significant amount of kilometres, gathering invaluable data to move forward. After watching the cars on track these past two days I think it's safe to say that we have a great season of racing ahead of us."

"Obviously, I can only be very pleased with how this first official test went: the reliability of the cars has been stellar with an impressive 13,300 kms covered in only two days," added GP3 Series organiser Bruno Michel.

"This could not have been achieved without the tremendous support of Dallara, Pirelli, Hewland and Oreca. We have definitely started on the right foot: teams and drivers alike have expressed their satisfaction with their first taste of GP3.

"On top of the exceptional reliability, the performance of the cars is also already very close to what we can expect during the season. It is nice to see that on the second day, at least ten drivers were closely fighting for the top spot. These young guns look set for an exciting season and we can expect to witness some great racing."

The next official 2010 GP3 Series test will take place at Paul Ricard in a few weeks time, running from March 31 to April 1.


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