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Herck fastest on shorter track set-up

Michael Herck proved to be the master of the shorter configuration track at Yas Marina on the first day of the second GP2 test session in Abu Dhabi.
Scuderia Coloni's Michael Herck set the fastest time of the first day of the second two-day block of GP2 pre-season testing.

Herck's 1:36.467 managed to pip the time shared by Team AirAsia's Davide Valsecchi and iSport's Marcus Ericsson by one hundredth of the second, and was set at the very end of the afternoon session.

Unlike the first two-day testing, today saw the cars run on the shorter 4.730km track configuration which is how the drivers will find it on their first race weekend in four days' time, meaning that the times were some 12s quicker than the fastest times seen on Wednesday and Thursday. The revised configuration also meant that the teams could focus on race simulations for the forthcoming GP2 Asia opener.

With no running for two days, the track was once again slightly dirty at the start which meant that times grew quicker and quicker through the morning and afternoon sessions as successive runs put down more tyre rubber to improve grip. Lotus ART's Jules Bianchi set the early pace in the morning but one hour in it was Josef Kral's Arden setting the pace with a 1:37.804 ahead of Barwa Addax's Giedo van der Garde.

Carlin's Max Chilton briefly topped the timesheets before being usurped by Bianchi, in a session that was interrupted by red flags for three red flags sparked by Julian Leal, Mikhail Aleshin and Oliver Turvey, before a final flurry of fastest times saw iSport's Marcus Ericsson to be the first GP2 driver of the year to slip under the 1:37 threshold only to then see his time eclipsed by a final run from Kral of 1:36.609.

Afternoon testing continued in the same vein with Team AirAsia's Davide Valsecchi first under 1:37 but soon displaced from the top of the timesheets by Kral. Bianchi was also on form and was fatest man at the two hour mark, but as the session neared its end it was Michael Herck who was the man on the move.

Once again there were three red flags in the session - for stoppages by Jolyon Palmer, James Jakes and finally Valsecchi - the last of which meant that the drivers were left with a final 15 minute dash to see who could claim the fastest time of the day: Valsecchi improved once more and went top with a laptime of a 1:36.477, a time that was subsequently exactly matched by Ericsson, but both were then beaten by Romania's Michael Herck in his last run of the day.

This second two-day test will conclude tomorrow on the same, shorter track configuration. The GP2 Asia season starts with qualifying on Thursday at 1.25pm GMT ahead of the first feature race of the series on Friday, February 11 at 12.55pm GMT.

Full test times from day 3 are available in the results section.



Related Pictures

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Michael Herck - DPR   [pic credit: GP2 Series]
Carlin`s Julian Leal at Spa in Friday practice. August 22, 2014. (Photo Credit: GP2 Media Service)
Julian Leal (COL) Carlin
Julian Leal (COL) Carlin
Julian Leal (COL) Carlin
Julian Leal (COL) Carlin
Julian Leal (COL, Carlin) in action at Monaco in qualifying. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Julian Leal (COL, Carlin) (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Simon Trummer (SUI, Rapax), leads Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Julian Leal (COL, Carlin) at the start of Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), 1st, Simon Trummer (SUI, Rapax), 2nd, & Julian Leal (COL, Carlin), 3rd, take the chequered flag at the end of Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jolyon Palmer, Simon Trummer and Julian Leal celebrate on the podium after Race 2 at Bahrain International Circuit on Sunday 6 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Julian Leal (COL, Carlin), on the podium after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), 1st, Julian Leal (COL, Carlin), 2nd, & Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), 3rd after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), 1st, Julian Leal (COL, Carlin), 2nd, & Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS), 3rd after Race 1 at Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday 5 April 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
The helmets of Felipe Masr (BRA, Carlin), and Julian Leal (COL, Carlin). (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Oliver Rowland (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) during the second day of post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday November 6, 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Oliver Rowland (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) during the second day of post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday November 6, 2013. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Oliver Rowland (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) during the second day of post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday November 6, 2013. (World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic.)

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