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Gutierrez sets fastest test time on day 2

7 March 2012

A sunny but chilly start at the Circuit de Catalunya saw everyone wrapped up warm when the pit lane opened for day 2 of the three-day GP2 pre-season practice session in Spain, but everyone warmed up once the sun and the track activity started to provide some heat.

Lotus GP set the early pace with James Calado setting an initial benchmark just two hundredths of a second quicker than his team mate Esteban Gutiérrez, with Carlin's Rio Haryanto and team mate Max Chilton then taking up the slack to go faster still. Chilton was the first to dip below the 1:29s mark as the field looked intent on trying some fast qualifying simulations early on and tried out the Pirelli GP2 Option tyres.

Gutiérrez went top around the midway point of the morning by just 0.008s over Chilton, and then later on in the morning Caterham Racing's Giedo van der Garde split that difference and slotted into second place just four thousandths of a second slower than Gutiérrez and faster than Chilton.

DAMS' Davide Valsecchi was the only other driver to manage a time below the 1:29s mark before the end of the morning, which had not seen any incidents or stoppages.

Teams mainly concentrated on race set-up in the warmer afternoon session. Stéphane Richelmi's early fast time of 1:29.860s was soon bettered by his Trident Racing team mate Julian Leal by two tenths with a lap of 1:29.653s, which stayed at the top of the timing screens for the rest of the day. However, Ocean Racing's Nigel Melker was able to slip between the two Trident cars with a lap of 1:29.680s before the chequered flag came out to end the day's activity.

Luiz Razia was able to resume testing for Arden on Wednesday, after falling ill on Tuesday and having to pull out of the day's track work after only managing an installation lap first thing. "Been very sick today," he tweeted later in the day. "Had an injection, now feeling better."

Rapax opted to stand down Sergio Canamasas as one of their test drivers and instead recalled Tom Dillmann for both Wednesday and Thursday's test sessions. The Frenchman finished with the fifth best time in the afternoon.

"Could have been better without traffic but quite a good day considering I missed day 1," tweeted Dillmann after the end of the day's running. "Looking forward to [tomorrow]!!"

There were no other driver changes, and the same line-up is expected for Thursday's final day of GP2 pre-season testing at Barcelona before the cars get crated up for transportation to the season opener at Sepang, Malaysia in March 24.

Full day 2 test times available.


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