The last of three days of testing at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain on Friday saw DAMS driver Pierre Gasly set the fastest time of the whole of GP2's second and final pre-season test, ahead of the first race of 2015 in two weeks' time.
CLICK: full times from the final day of GP2 pre-season testing in Bahrain
Ideal morning conditions with clear skies and rising temperatures prompted everyone to make a quick start to the day. ART's Stoffel Vandoorne set the initial pace but the Belgian was quickly ousted from the top spot and after the first half hour it was Trident's Raffaele Marciello leading the way with a lap of 1:41.185s ahead of Racing Engineering's Jordan King and Hilmer Motorsport's Nick Yelloly with Vandoorne pushed back down to fourth during the initial seven-lap run.
Marciello became the first person this week to dip under the 100-second mark with a considerably faster time of 1:39.720s, which was itself quickly improved upon by Vandoorne who enjoyed a clear track for his best run. Pierre Gasly then bettered this by 0.014s in the DAMS, his lap of 1:39.632s proving to be not only the best run of anyone of the morning, but also of the entire the week of testing.
Mitch Evans (Russian Time) and Alexander Rossi also moved ahead of Marciello in the meantime, with Gasly's DAMS team mate and fellow series rookie Alex Lynn joining the sub-100 club with a lap of 1:39.884s for sixth place on the timesheets.
There were no improvements in the times for the top half dozen in the remaining hour of morning running. As the rising temperatures at noon took the edge off the 3.363-mile, 15-turn desert circuit, teams opted instead to put the available time to best use by focusing on set-up and race simulations rather than speed trials.
After the one-hour lunch break, Arden's Norman Nato was quick set the early pace during the first hour with a laptime of 1:41.970s as most teams continued to focus on race simulations and pit stop practice. Nato was also the cause of the only red flag stoppage of the day, when his car appeared to catch fire and he came to a halt out on the track, needing retrieving with a little over half an hour remaining.
When the track went green again, the drivers put what little time they had left before the end of the session to good use with the fastest laps since lunch, Nigel Melker going to the top of the timing screens with a lap of 1:41.566s to put himself 0.067s ahead of Rapax's Sergey Sirotkin, and Campos Racing' Racing Haryanto close behind in third.
The morning pacesetter Pierre Gasly also made a late improvement to nip Nato for fourth place by 0.173s, with the top six rounded off by Gasly's team mate Alex Lynn who finished sixth fastest for the second consecutive track session. However the times were almost two seconds off the morning pace, which meant that Gasly was unassailed as the fastest man of the entire three days in Bahrain
While the drivers and team members now head home for the Easter break, the cars and equipment will stay in Bahrain ahead of the first round of the 2015 GP2 Series championship, which will be held at Sakhir on April 17-19.
See full times from the final day of GP2 pre-season testing in Bahrain