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Jon Lancaster ends Bahrain GP2 test on top

Just as he did last week in Abu Dhabi, Jon Lancaster ended this week's pre-season testing in Bahrain on top just ahead of Alexander Rossi.
Full test times for Friday from Bahrain
Combined testing times for Bahrain

The final day of the final GP2 pre-season test session got underway at 9am local time, with Axcil Jefferies making a return to Trident and taking back the seat of the #22 after having sat out the first two days in Sakhir while Vittorio Ghirelli picked up some track time.

ART's Stoffel Vandoorne headed out early to try out one of the two sets of soft option tyres he'd been hoarding for just this opportunity. He was followed soon after by MP Motorsport's Jon Lancaster, who was able to pick up where his team mate Daniel de Jong had finished on Thursday afternoon by going straight to the top of the timing screens.

Daniel Abt continued his strong run of form at Bahrain International Circuit by displacing Lancaster with a lap of 1:39.931 on the 3.363-mile, 15-turn circuit, but he was also the cause of the first and only red flag of the day when the #11 Hilmer Motorsports ground to a halt at turn 6.

Vandoorne and Lancaster continued their battle over the top spot, the Belgian driver going ahead with a time of 1:39.920s to which the Briton responded with an improved lap of 1:39.647s. Caterham's Alexander Rossi subsequently slipped into second place just 0.046s behind Lancaster while Carlin's Felipe Nasr had edged out Vandoorne for third place by just 0.091s - a very close start indeed on the final day.

Qualifying-pace flying laps out of the way, the rest of the morning settled down to some less eye-catching but just as vital long-distance race simulation work for the most part, and the top four were not troubled at the top again in the remaining two hours before lunch. Abt remained the only other driver under the 100s mark in the early session, after Jolyon Palmer missed out on that by three thousandths of a second to pick up sixth place for DAMS ahead of Julian Leal (Carlin) and Raffaele Marciello (Racing Engineering).

With the lunch break reduced by convention to just one hour for the final day of testing, the teams were back at work again at 1pm local time with the attention remaining on race distance performance rather than raw speed - Conor Daly subsequently reporting that he had completed a total of two and a half times race distance in the Venezuela GP Lazarus in the course of Friday's track time.

As a result, Jolyon Palmer's time of 1:41.522s was the best on offer by the midway point of the session, 1.140s ahead of his team mate St├ęphane Richelmi but still almost two seconds off the morning pace shown by Lancaster. Palmer time remained at the top of the time sheets for most of the session until finally ousted by Daniel Abt who went round in 1:41.061s.

As the clock ticked down to the end of the test, a flurry of fast laps were put on the time sheets, with Mitch Evans' 1:41.272s good enough to go second in the Russian Time car ahead of Johnny Cecotto Jr. (Trident) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (Rapax) who just managed to edge Palmer for fourth by four thousandths of a second as the chequered flag came out.

Abt's time was still a long way off Jon Lancaster's morning effort which stood as the best time of the final day, just as he had managed last week in Abu Dhabi. That might boost the Briton's hopes of being offered a full-time drive in this year's GP2 Series championship in one of the three race seats yet to be confirmed. However the best times of the week were set by the Caterham Racing pair Rio Haryanto and Alexander Rossi on Thursday morning, the Indonesian's time of 1:39.129s just 0.044s ahead of his American team mate.

With pre-season testing now complete, the next time the GP2 cars will roll out onto the track will be here at Bahrain International Circuit in two weeks time on April 4 for the official practice session of the opening round of the 2014 season.

Testing times for Wednesday from Bahrain
Testing times for Thursday from Bahrain
Testing times for Friday from Bahrain
Combined testing times for Bahrain



Related Pictures

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Daniel Abt (GER, Hilmer Motorsport) on day 3 of the second GP2 Series pre-season test session, at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday 21 March, 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Daniel Abt (GER, Hilmer Motorsport) on day 3 of the second GP2 Series pre-season test session, at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday 21 March, 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Daniel Abt (GER, Hilmer Motorsport) on day 3 of the second GP2 Series pre-season test session, at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday 21 March, 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jon Lancaster (GBR, MP Motorsport) on day 3 of the second GP2 Series pre-season test session, at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday 21 March, 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jon Lancaster (GBR, MP Motorsport) on day 3 of the second GP2 Series pre-season test session, at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday 21 March, 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jon Lancaster (GBR, MP Motorsport) on day 3 of the second GP2 Series pre-season test session, at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday 21 March, 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Jon Lancaster (GBR, MP Motorsport) on day 3 of the second GP2 Series pre-season test session, at Bahrain International Circuit on Friday 21 March, 2014. (World Copyright: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic.)
Campos Racing logo. (Photo credit: GP3 Media Service)
Jordan King (GBR, MP Motorsport) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jordan King (GBR, MP Motorsport) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jordan King (GBR, MP Motorsport) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Esteban Ocon (FRS, DAMS) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Esteban Ocon (FRS, DAMS) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Esteban Ocon (FRS, DAMS) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Pierre Gasly (FRA, DAMS) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Dunbar/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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