GP2 »

Christensen, Gutierrez share spoils in Barca GP3 test

The three-hour afternoon session offered a few surprises – and a few more red flags – but ART kept a firm grip on the coveted top spot as a few other drivers successfully added themselves to the mix. Gutierrez posted an improved time of 1min 37.480secs to claim the number one spot again, this time nearly half a second clear of the rest of the pack. Second to the 18-year old was Monras, the Spaniard heading Wickens, van der Zande and Smith. Christensen finished sixth, ahead of Mirko Bortolotti (Addax), Simon Trummer (Jenzer), Melker and Rossi, as reliability continued with 1457 laps being completed over the two sessions.

“I've been enjoying the test in Barcelona and it's been more interesting for me because the car behaves so differently to Circuit Paul Ricard," Gutierrez reported, "We've been using all of our data from the two previous tests and running to a really busy testing schedule, especially working on race set-up. Even though ART have been at the top of nearly every test session we never get over confident. I am ready for the first race, but as always we will keep trying to improve and keep pushing tomorrow.”

The second morning started on a drying track after heavy rain, with teams initially opting for wet weather tyres. However, the 30 youngsters on show didn't let the weather dampen their spirits, matching fast laps and offs as they continued to push to find their limits.

As the track tried and drivers were able to go out on fresh slick Pirelli tyres the lap times dropped rapidly. Gutierrez matched his best time from day one almost exactly, while Christensen took second spot for MW Arden after posting his best time of the test so far. van der Zande finished the session in third spot, while Varhaug bounced back from an off on the opening day to put in an impressive performance in fourth spot, the 19-year-old's highest placing in a GP3 test to date.

Jakes rounded out the top five for Manor, ahead of Rossi, Morad, Nico Muller (Jenzer), Monras and Wickens, with the top ten drivers were separated by just six tenths of a second.

"ART Grand Prix look strong in all track conditions, but drivers and teams have been testing with different fuel levels and set-ups, so it's not until qualifying at the Spanish GP that we will truly all know where we stand," Status team manager Simon Cayzer summed up, "What's a clear factor, though, is that there are 30 very equal and competitive cars out there, and there will be multiple stoppages in sessions - there's a going to be a great skill in finding a clear lap to set a time, and the fact that some front-runners will sometimes be unlucky is going to mix up the grids and make the racing even more exciting."

GP3 will be back on track in Barcelona for the opening round of the series on 8-9 May.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
GP3 Series car tests at Portimao
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium with Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin), takes the chequered flag at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win in Parc Fermeat Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium with Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) and Alex Fontana, (SUI, ART Grand Prix) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium with Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) and Alex Fontana, (SUI, ART Grand Prix) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) in action at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) celebrates at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Charles Coates/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing), Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) & Nick Yelloly (GBR, Status Grand Prix), on the podium at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) in action at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014 (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) celebrates his win on the podium with Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) and Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Trident) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) celebrates his win on the podium with Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) and Johnny Cecotto (VEN, Trident) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Saturday 23 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.