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Valsecchi sets the pace on first day of testing

Davide Valsecchi set the fastest time of the first day of GP2's three-day test session in Jerez in Spain.
Davide Valsecchi's laptime of 1:26.014s in the final hour of the morning session on the first day of GP2's three-day pre-season test at Jerez proved to be the best anyone could manage all day.

The DAMS driver was over two tenths of a second faster than Fabio Onidi in the Coloni, who put in a lap of 1:26.217s in the morning that put him just ahead of iSport duo Jolyon Palmer and Marcus Ericsson.

Temperatures climbed as the day went on and all the afternoon laps were slower than the top morning times, with Ericsson putting iSport at the top of the timesheets with a lap of 1:26.407s - almost a tenth faster than Esteban Gutierrez but almost four tenths slower than Valsecchi's morning best.

Esteban Gutierrez was second fastest in the afternoon a tenth back from Ericsson with a late run before the chequered flag ended the session. His Lotus GP team mate James Calado (who won the GP2 Final sprint race in Abu Dhabi in November) was third fastest.

All the GP2 teams were trying out the new Pirelli tyres for 2012, and adapting to a new set of aerodynamic rules and regulations for the upcoming season that gives them more flexibility in set-up options - but which also means a lot more work for them in order to arrive at the optimal settings.

"Being back on track is a real pleasure," said Scuderia Coloni's team principal Paolo Coloni. The whole team was looking forward to this test after the winter break and all the development work we did at home."

"I cannot wait to get on track!" agreed Coloni's driver Stefano Coletti. "2012 will be crucial for my career and in the last few months the team and I worked hard to reach the beginning of the season in the best possible shape.

"The six official testing days of Jerez and Barcelona will allow us to refine all the details ahead of the season opener in Malaysia where we will eventually have a more precise understanding of our potential compared to the other teams," he added.

The only significant incident of the day was Tom Dillmann running wide and clipping the barrier, resulting in the morning session to the red flagged while his Ocean Racing Technology car was recovered to the pits.




Related Pictures

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Esteban Gutierrez (MEX, Lotus GP) in the cockpit during day 1 of GP2 Series Pre-Season Testing at Jerez, Spain - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 [Picture Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service]
Marcus Ericsson (SWE, iSport International) during day 1 of GP2 Series Pre-Season Testing at Jerez, Spain - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 [World Copyright: Alastair Staley/ GP2 Series Media Service.]
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) on track during day 1 of GP2 Series Pre-Season Testing at Jerez, Spain - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 [Picture Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service]
Davide Valsecchi (ITA, Dams) on track during day 1 of GP2 Series Pre-Season Testing at Jerez, Spain - Tuesday, February 28, 2012 [Picture Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service]
2015 GP3 Series Round 2. Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria. Sunday 21 June 2015. Oscar Tunjo (COL, Trident) celebrates his win on the podium with Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) and Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 2. Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria. Saturday 20 June 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) leads Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 2. Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria. Saturday 20 June 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) leads Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) and the rest of the field at the restart. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 2. Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria. Saturday 20 June 2015. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) celebrates his win on the podium with Antonio Fuoco (ITA, Carlin) and Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 1. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 1. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 1. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015. Podium. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 1. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015. Top Three - Race One. Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident), Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix), Emil Bernstorff (GBR, Arden International). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 1. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015. Podium. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 1. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015. Podium. Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix). Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.
2015 GP3 Series Round 1. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015 Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service ref: Digital Image _G7C3213
2015 GP3 Series Round 1. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015 Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service.
Round 1 - Barcelona, Spain 2015 GP3 Series Round 1. Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Saturday 9 May 2015 Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) leads Pal Varhaug (NOR, Jenzer Motorsport) Oscar Tunjo (COL, Trident) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Test 3 - Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain. Wednesday 22 April 2015. Pal Varhaug (NOR, Jenzer Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.

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