GP2 » 18 October 2011
Teams gather for second two-day test
British F3 series runner-up Kevin Magnussen will take a seat at Carlin for both days at Barcelona, building on a strong Formula Renault 3.5 test last week in which he was quick around the Catalan circuit. "We know that Kevin is a very quick driver around Barcelona," said Carlin. "It will be very interesting how quickly he adapts to the demands of the GP2 car over the two days."
Carlin have recalled their 2011 driver Max Chilton for Wednesday's test session in the other car, before handing over the keys to former Arden driver Jolyon Palmer for Thursday. "Max will continue the great development we began in Jerez to make us even stronger next year," said team boss Trevor Carlin. "It will be good to have another experienced GP2 racer like Jolyon in the car and we look forward to his feedback."
Palmer will also test with Barwa Addax on Wednesday, where he will be alongside fellow series regular Julian Leal. Josef Kral and American driver Jake Rosenzweig take over for the championship-winning team on Thursday.
Stefano Coletti will also be back in a GP2 car, 53 days after a crash during a wet race at Spa while racing with Trident left him with a compression fracture of two vertebrae and the cracking of a third. His orthopaedic consultant, Dr Giancarlo Raffermi, said: "We observed a period of absolute rest during the three weeks following the incident and then we started physiotherapy ... A complete recovery will need 2 to 3 more weeks of work but this test will allow us to check on the progress obtained so far."
Coletti will spend Wednesday with the Dams team and then move on to test with the Coloni squad. "I cannot wait to be back at the wheel of the GP2 Dallara after such a long and difficult period. This is the first time - and hopefully the last - that I am forced to miss tests and races for so long ... I want to start working to be ready, if possible, for Abu Dhabi's race in November."
Coletti will be paired at Coloni with Auto GP champion Kevin Ceccon, who is the team's confirmed selection for next month's GP2 Final. "We are really happy of having Kevin with us already in Barcelona, that way we will have the time to prepare ourselves for the Abu Dhabi finale in the best possible fashion," said team boss Paolo Coloni. Dani Clos will pair Ceccon on Wednesday.
At Dams, Coletti will be testing alongside Indonesian Auto GP driver Rio Haryanto, while 20-year-old British driver Adrian Quaife Hobbs will step into the car on the second day after a season in Formula Three Euroseries in 2010 and GP3 in 2011.
Over in the Ocean Racing Technology garage, Antonio Felix da Costa will return to the team on Thursday after a promising one-day stint with the team in Jerez which saw him set the sixth fastest time on the second day in Jerez. "I am sure that we can be in the top 5 or 6 in the Barcelona tests," he said. "The first session went very well and my goal, and the team's goal, is to take it to the next level in our development process." He is already confirmed to drive the Ocean car in next month's GP2 Final, and will spend the Wednesday with Lotus ART.
New Zealander Brendon Hartley - who appeared in the final two rounds of the 2011 GP season for Ocean - will also be testing, as will Dutch driver Nigel Melkur on the Wednesday before his day with iSport.
"We have a dual objective," said the team's general managers, Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes. "Testing drivers in order to establish the best driver line-up for 2012, and finding the best technical solutions before the upcoming Abu Dhabi races."
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