Campos Racing's Alex Palou ended the GP3 pre-season test with the best time of anyone in the two days of pre-season testing in Spain, the local boy just holding off ART's Marvin Kirchhöfer in the ideal morning conditions in Valencia.
CLICK: Full times from day 2 of GP3 pre-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Palau repeated his Thursday feat of topping the morning practice times at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, only this time with a blistering lap of 1:20.880s on the 2.517-mile, 14-turn circuit before lunch on Friday that proved impossible for any of his rivals to beat. Even so, he was just 0.012s quicker than Kirchhöfer who had gone on to set the best time overall the previous day; Kirchhöfer's ART team mate Esteban Ocon was once again right in the mix with the third fastest time one tenth behind that of Palou.
The quicker times were largely down to the track getting properly 'rubbered in' on the second day of running, and also by warmer and sunnier conditions than had been present 24 hours previously. As a result everyone was quick to get out on the track, resulting in a busy start to the day's first three-hour track availability.
Once the early charge had abated, teams then settled down and applied themselves more to longer distance racing simulations which left the top three unchallenged in a stoppage-free run to the chequered flag signalling lunch. By that time Koiranen GP's Kevin Korjus had moved up to fourth in the standings as he continued to deputise for Adderly Fong, who has Lotus F1 test duties this week. Jenzer Motorsport's Matheo Tuscher took over fifth place ahead of Korjus' team mate Jimmy Eriksson.
It was Eriksson who started off the final afternoon session fastest, setting a new target time of 1:22.086s within the first hour to put him ahead of Carlin's Antonio Fuoco by 0.177s. That lap stood at the top of the timing screens for much of the session through to the final half hour, at which point the field bolted on their final set of tyres to have some fun attempting a final flurry of new flying laps.
It was Jenzer's Pal Varhaug who was finally able to oust Eriksson from the top with what proved to be the only sub-1:22s lap in the hotter condition of the afternoon. His time of 1:21.719s was nine tenths off the morning's top pace but was still in turn a comfortable three tenths of a second ahead of Carlin's Mitch Gilbert who nabbed second place by shading his Koiranen team mate with a late effort of 1:22.054s to push Korjus down to fourth place in the final standings by 0.032s. Status Grand Prix's Seb Morris ended the afternoon as fifth fastest with Trident's Oscar Tunjo rounding out the top six.
The afternoon saw the only red flag stoppages of the two day tests, with Kirchhöfer triggering a short interruption when he stopped his ART in turn 12 with 35 minutes remaining, and then the third Koiranen car of Matt Parry causing another brief pause moments later.
The GP3 teams now move on to the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona for the third and final two-day pre-season test session on April 22-23, ahead of the first round of the 2015 GP3 Series championship which will be held at Barcelona on May 8-10.
See full times from day 2 of GP3 pre-season testing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.