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Leimer finishes fastest of all at Jerez test

Kevin Ceccon's fifth place on the morning timesheets confirmed the overall strength of the Coloni car. "The fifth quickest time of the two days is a good result, and we could have been even quicker," he said. "Then in the afternoon, with a lot of fuel, we were ninth which is again very good, considering that we were the only ones in the top pack not using new tyres."

"All our three drivers managed to extract top performances from the car, confirming both their skills and the competitiveness of our technical package," said a happy Paolo Coloni.

In the afternoon session, Jules Bianchi put in the fastest time ahead of the two Trident Racing cars of Sam Bird and Julian Leal. After a season with iSport and experiencing the Rapax car during the first day of testing on Wednesday, Bird was replacing Josef Kral in the Trident on the second day and said that he was impressed by how much grip he got from the Trident car right from the start.

"I really got along very well with the team, and I also think they experienced a good relation with me," he said. "I've been impressed by several aspects today, and I can assure that if Trident Racing will find the right driver pairing, they'll definitely aiming to battle for the 2011 championship."

Leal got to spent two days in the Trident car, although the first day had been affected by engine and gearbox issues: "Today we finally managed to put everything together, we used our full potential with a really good feedback," he said, overall much happier with his Thursday at the office. "I'm sorry for having ended up spinning in the closing laps of the second session, because I had already gone down some tenths of a second in that lap but I just wanted more!"

A lot of eyes were focussed on the appearance at Caterham Team AirAsia of US driver Alexander Rossi, whom many have tipped for a title chance in the series. It's his first time in the new GP2/11 car and he admitted it was a big change from his recent racing experiences.

"It's been a big adjustment for me to get used to the GP2 car: to say it's different from a World Series car is an understatement, but once we'd figured out the balance it was good fun," he said. "These cars are quicker than World Series, so as a driver you got to love that!

"This afternoon was much better than this morning," he continued. "We are missing a little time but I think that it will come. I like this track, it's difficult on tyres especially in these hot conditions but at the end of the day we came out looking quite good and I am looking forward to the next test in Barcelona."

"Alexander is a very gifted driver and very professional," said the team's chief race engineer Humphrey Corbett. "[He] adapted to the new GP2 car and Pirelli tyres well. He was not afraid to go for it and in the end he was sixth which is very promising, especially as we didn't manage do our quickest times when the track was at its best."

Rossi was paired for the day with Team Lotus test driver Ricardo Teixeira, the Portuguese-Angolan who drove in GP2 in 2009 but who was quick to admit that GP2 had moved on a lot since then.




Related Pictures

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Alexander Rossi (USA, Team AirAsia) during the second day of testing at Jerez. [World Copyright: Jed Leicester/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Alexander Rossi (USA, Team AirAsia during the second day of testing at Jerez. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Rupert Svendsen-Cook (GBR, Racing Engineering) during the second day of testing at Jerez. [World Copyright: Jed Leicester/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Jules Bianchi (FRA, Lotus ART) and James Calado (GBR, Lotus ART) on the second day of testing at Jerez. [World Copyright: Jed Leicester/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Scuderia Coloni) during the second day of testing at Jerez. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Fabio Leimer (SUI, Racing Engineering) during the second day of testing at Jerez. [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Cars line up on the grid for the race. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering), Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) & Mitch Evans (NZL, RUSSIAN TIME) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win in parc ferme. Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident), celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and 4. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) leads Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 7. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Alexander Rossi (USA, Racing Engineering) celebrates on the podium with Jordan King (GBR, Racing Engineering). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) crashes into a wall. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 5. Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 23 August 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) crosses the line to take the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service

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