Franck Perera showed that he had few qualms about jumping from a GP2
Series car to one in the World Series by Renault and then back again as he set the pace on the final day of this week's Paul Ricard group test.
The Frenchman topped the times during the morning session, with a 1min 13.595secs best, and saw that hold off the impressive Luca Filippi during the afternoon. Perera's effort - he was second quickest during the later session - completed a good test for Durango, after Filippi had topped both sessions on day one, but came under scrutiny from the Italian on day two, following his switch to Arden International.
Filippi boosted his profile after a disappointing maiden campaign in 2006, running in the top three throughout the test, despite working with two different teams. Third fastest during the morning, he improved, marginally, to 1min 13.827secs after lunch, but could not quite find the handful of tenths required to dislodge Perera from the combined top spot.
Giorgio Pantano split the leading pair during the morning session, keeping Campos Racing at the head of the field, but did not feature after the midday break - or in the combined times - having had all his times taken away after his car was found to be underweight.
That allowed Arden to celebrate a strong showing, as it finished the test on a high with Bruno Senna classified as the top rookie of the afternoon, the Brazilian taking third place.
Antonio Pizzonia finished the afternoon session in fourth place, with Nicolas Lapierre fifth for new employer DAMS, but the morning session proved to be the quicker of the two, with the top six all ducking under 1min 14secs. Javier Villa was again in impressive form for Racing Engineering, taking fourth spot, with Jose Maria Lopez fifth for BCN Competicion, ahead of Kohei Hirate, who headed the times posted by drivers new to GP2
Lopez was again in the top six for BCN after lunch, while GP2
returnee Borja Garcia - pipped to the WSbR title last weekend - was seventh for iSport International. Xandi Negrao continued his strong post-season form in eighth best time in the afternoon, putting him ahead of the consistent Hirate and debutant Paul di Resta, the new F3
Euroseries champion joining Trident Racing alongside the Japanese pilot for the day.
Also appearing for the first time on day two of the test was Kiwi Jonny Reid, who made the most of his A1 Grand Prix connections to run with Super Nova International. Others out for a second stab at GP2
included Guillaume Moreau (Racing Engineering), Roldan Rodriguez (Campos), Dominick Muermans (Durango) and Tomas Kostka (Piquet Sports), but all featured in the lower reaches of the times. Current Spanish F3
points leader Ricardo Risatti, meanwhile, took tenth spot in the earlier session with BCN.
ART Grand Prix was again missing from the times, following its decision to can its test plans following the death of engineer Steeve Marcel, costing Ernesto Viso a run with the reigning champions.
The teams will now make their way to Jerez, where the next test kicks off in just over a week's time.Leading performances (1 November) Paul Ricard:Franck Perera
Durango 1min 13.595s 1min 13.837s
36/36 Luca Filippi
Arden International 1min 13.851s 1min 13.630s
39/36 Javier Villa
Racing Engineering 1min 13.856s 1min 14.439s
29/28 Bruno Senna
Arden International 1min 14.643s 1min 13.871s
38/33 Jose Maria Lopez
BCN Competicion 1min 13.879s 1min 14.203
29/40 Kohei Hirate
Trident Racing 1min 13.928s 1min 14.309s
19/35 Antonio Pizzonia
Petrol Ofisi FMS International 1min 14.053s 1min 14.123s
DAMS 1min 14.086s 1min 14.466s
45/33 Nicolas Lapierre
DAMS 1min 14.393s 1min 14.138s
43/25 Borja Garcia
iSport International 1min 14.496s 1min 14.275s
41/26 Alexandre Negrao
Piquet Sports 1min 14.532s 1min 14.276s
39/35 Ricardo Risatti
BCN Competicion 1min 14.412s 1min 15.083s
29/19 Paul Di Resta
Trident Racing 1min 15.403s 1min 14.429s
59/52 Tomas Kostka
Piquet Sports 1min 14.572s 1min 16.129s
39/35 Hiroki Yoshimoto
Super Nova International 1min 14.596s 1min 14.851s
37/29 Guillaume Moreau
Racing Engineering 1min 14.606s 1min 14.687s
37/35 Vitaly Petrov
Petrol Ofisi FMS International 1min 14.728s 1min 15.063s
38/30 Mike Conway
DPR 1min 14.921s 1min 15.074s
45/24 Christian Bakkerud
iSport International 1min 15.022s 1min 15.770s
33/11 Roldan Rodriguez
Campos Racing 1min 15.855s 1min 15.164s
29/39 Dominick Muermans
Durango 1min 16.446s 1min 15.420s
Super Nova International 1min 15.433s 1min 15.458s
31/29 Michael Patrizi
DPR 1min 16.275s 1min 16.682s
38/30 Giorgio Pantano
Campos Racing Times disallowed for being underweight