The GP2 field is busy preparing for another two-day test session this week, with Barcelona the destination on Wednesday and Thursday for cars and equipment before they're shipped off to the next race weekend in the Middle East.
Once again a variety of drivers are being given a chance to try out the GP2/11 chassis, as teams look around for candidates to pilot their cars in the GP2 Final in Abu Dhabi next month as well as longer-term planning for the full 2012 GP2 season.
Racing Engineering have once again opted to field GP2 regular Fabio Leimer, who dominated the September testing in Jerez by topping three of the timesheets and recording the fastest time of anyone during the two days there. Leimer will be joined for both days by Formula Renault driver Nathanaël Berthon, who had outings with iSport and Lotus ART at Jerez and who previously competed for the team in the GP2 Asia Series at the start of 2011.
For their part, iSport International are opting to test four drivers at Barcelona, with Marcus Ericsson alongside Tom Dillmann on Wednesday and Nigel Melker and Kuba Giermaziak taking over on Thursday.
"We are looking forward to having Ericsson back with us and he will be experimenting with suspension developments with next year in mind," said iSport's chief engineer Gavin Jones. "It will be Polish driver Giermaziak's first GP2 run after a successful Porsche Supercup campaign where he currently lies 2nd, and Dillman and Melker will be carrying on from their impressive debut tests at Jerez."
Over at Caterham Team AirAsia, American driver Alexander Rossi had already been announced for the test session for both days, and the team confirmed at the weekend that he will be joined by Team Lotus third driver Luiz Razia for one day, and by Rodolfo Gonzalez for the other.
"We are very proud to maintain and nurture the relationships we have with these young drivers," said team principal Riad Asmat. "We had a positive test in Jerez last month and I am confident the drivers we have in the car [this] week will do a sterling job before we move onto Abu Dhabi for the final GP2 race of the year."
"It is very good that we maintain the continuity with both Alexander and Luiz and welcome Rodolfo to the team for his outing - he already has links with us since he tested with our F1 counterparts last year at the Abu Dhabi young driver test," added team manager Phill Spencer. "We are in discussions with several drivers for the race seats for Abu Dhabi too, so everything is looking very positive and we are keen to get out on the track again before the year comes to a close."
Trident Racing will have 2011 season regular Stéphane Richelmi returning to the cockpit for the team, with Josef Kral joining him on the first day and Sam Bird on the second. Both Kral and Bird also tested with Trident at the last two-day session in Jerez in September.