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Dillmann leads times on first day back at work

26 February 2013

Tom Dillmann might not have been in a GP2 car since his last outing with Rapax in Germany last July, but he certainly wasn't showing any signs of cobwebs as he posted the fastest time of the day for Hilmer Motorsport in the first of three days of pre-season testing for GP2 teams at the Circuit de Jerez in Spain.

It was a cold and sunny start to proceedings, with teams making an initial installation lap and then sitting back waiting for the sun to warm up the 2.751-mile, 13-turn circuit to the point where it was possible to make worthwhile test runs.

Venezuela GP Lazarus driver Rene Binder was the first to make a move, logging eight laps in the first hour while everyone else stayed warm in the pit lane garages.

Tom Dillmann put Hilmer Motorsports at the top of the timesheets for the first time with his initial flying lap, set just after the first red of the day 90 minutes into the session for his team mate Pal Varhaug spinning and stopping on track, which required a recovery truck to be dispatched.

However, Dillmann's time was quickly bettered by Johnny Cecotto Jr. in the Arden, and as more drivers thawed out and joined the fray it was DAMS' Marcus Ericsson that went top of the timesheets just minutes before Caterham's Sergio Canamasas went off-roading into the tyre wall at turn 2 to being out the second red flag of the morning stint.

Carlin driver Jolyon Palmer's final lap of 1:25.330s managed to pip Ericsson's time by 0.094s just before the two-hour lunch break, which came a little prematurely after Mitch Evans stopped his own Arden out on track with electrical issues at turn 13 to trigger the third and final caution of the morning.

Teams spent more time on start and race practice in the afternoon, going for longer stints making it a comparatively much busier session than the morning right from the start. Ericsson's DAMS team mate Stéphane Richelmi was soon at the top of the timesheets ahead of Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer and Rapax driver Stefano Coletti.

Carlin returned to the top of the times an hour in, this time with Felipe Nasr putting in an impressive burst of speed, and then it was the turn of James Calado to set the pace in the brand new livery of ART GP, the team having reverted over the winter from their 2012 rebranding as Lotus GP.

MP Motorsport's Daniël de Jong brought out the only red flag of the afternoon by stopping at turn 7 with an hour still remaining. Fabio Leimer went into the last half hour with the fastest time, but ten minutes later that was bettered by Dillmann with a time of 1:25.059s that turned out to be the best lap of the session.

Testing at Jerez resumes on Wednesday at 9am local time (8am GMT). The only team not attending is iSport, which is seeking to sell its two GP2 cars and exit the series after failing to find funding for a full season of competition.

See full Tuesday test times.


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