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GP3 Spa: ART locks out wet practice session

Dino Zamparelli led an ART 1-2-3 in Friday practice at Spa-Francorchamps, with increasing rain causing the session to end early after two crashes.
CLICK: Full GP3 practice results from Spa-Francorchamps

Dino Zamparelli topped the 45-minute practice session at Spa-Francorchamps, leading an ART sweep of the top three positions on Friday evening as the rain that had been threatening the circuit all day finally made it presence felt.

Carlin's Alex Lynn had set the initial benchmark time before Zamparelli went top, the pair trading the place back and forth a couple more times before finally punching out a lap of 2:07.021s to secure the top spot on the timesheets.

In the meantime, Lynn found himself pushed down the order by Zamparelli's ART team mates Marvin Kirchhöfer and Alex Fontana who both went faster than the Carlin to lock up the second and third positions. Lynn's team mate Emil Bernstorff took up fifth place ahead of Jenzer Motorsport's Matheo Tuscher, Status GP's Nick Yelloly and Koiranen GP's Jimmy Eriksson.

Any hopes that the drivers had of improving themselves in the second half of the 45-minute session were dashed when light rain started to fall on pit lane, La Source and Eau Rouge which prompted many teams to adopt a wait and see strategy.

Those that did go out found conditions increasingly treacherous, with Trident new boy Konstantin Tereshchenko losing control into the final corner and launching his car high into the air over the kerbing which then rolled him into the barrier where the car caught fire.

That triggered a red flag during which time the drizzle spread deeper into the 4.352-mile, 20-turn circuit, and once the session resumed Marussia Manor Racing's Ryan Cullen also ended up making light contact with the barrier to trigger another stoppage. With the rain increasing in strength, the decision was made not to resume after the clear-up.

More rain is expected for qualifying on Saturday morning at 9.45am local time (8.45pm BST), with the 13 laps of race 1 scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 5.20pm (4.20pm BST). Race 2 is on Sunday morning at 9.25am (8.25am BST) and all sessions will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports F1.

Friday's practice session saw the first appearance of Kevin Ceccon at Jenzer Motorsport after he was confirmed in the team's #22 for the rest of the 2014 GP3 season. The 19-year-old Italian previously competed in the series in 2012 with Ocean Racing Technology and also had two spells in GP2 with Coloni and Trident.

“Kevin has previously raced in this Series and has plenty of other racing experience," agreed team principal Andreas Jenzer. "We are looking forward to working with him."

"I will be definitely focused to give the best of myself and I am very pleased to join the Jenzer Motorsport team," said Ceccon, who was 20th on practice on Friday. "Once again thank you to all of the people that help me to make it happen."

Meanwhile the Trident GP3 team has undergone a complete transformation in its driver line-up, with Roman de Beer, Victor Carbone and Mitch Gilbert all being replaced this weekend. The team's new line-up will consist of Konstantin Tereshchenko, John Bryant-Meisner and Luca Ghiotto.

Tereshchenko has been competing in Euroformula Open for Campos Racing, while Bryant-Meisner has most recently been racing in European Formula 3 with Fortec Motorsports. Ghiotto meanwhile has been racing in Formula Renault 3.5 with International Draco Racing.

See full GP3 practice results from Spa-Francorchamps



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) in practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) in practice at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Friday 22 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 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: 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: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Seb Morris (GBR, Status Grand Prix) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Palou (ESP, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Palou (ESP, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Palou (ESP, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Palou (ESP, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Luca Ghiotto (ITA, Trident) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Thursday 27 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Antonio Fuoco (ITA, ART Grand Prix) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Antonio Fuoco (ITA, ART Grand Prix) during GP3 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Saturday 29 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Norman Nato (FRA, Russian Time) during GP2 testing at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 28 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)

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