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Jerez test times (29 October).

Pastor Maldonado ended the opening day of GP2 Series testing at Jerez in southern Spain this week at the top of the timesheets – as the Venezuelan eyes a third season with a third different team in Formula 1's feeder category.

Having competed for Trident Racing during his rookie campaign in 2007, and Piquet Sports last year, the experienced double race-winner improved two spots from third position in the morning running to ultimately wind up at the head of the order to the tune of just under a tenth of a second for former championship-winning outfit ART Grand Prix.

Second-quickest at the close – and fastest in the morning – was GP2 regular Davide Valsecchi for Durango. On a newly resurfaced circuit and with the improved performance of the 2008-spec Dallara chassis, he was able to post a time of 1min 24.823secs – almost three seconds inside the existing GP2 lap record.

The Italian didn't have it all his own way early on, however, and was only narrowly ahead of F3 Euroseries title-winner Nico Hülkenberg, who slotted into second early on and third in the final reckoning in the second ART machine. Running with the same squad that took him to the F3 crown, the Williams F1 test driver was the only other man to dip below the 1min 25sec marker day-long.

Japanese F3 Euroseries graduate Koudai Tsukakoshi also impressed by placing second early on and ending the day fourth for Piquet Sports, just ahead of countryman Kamui Kobayashi (DAMS) – the man to beat in recent testing sessions both for the regular season and the Asia campaign.

Karun Chandhok slotted into sixth overall in the leading FMSI entry, with Andreas Zuber (Racing Engineering), Diego Nunes (Piquet Sports), Giedo van der Garde (iSport International) and Charles Pic (iSport International) completing the overall top ten.


Leading performances - AM session:

1. Davide Valsecchi Durango 1m 24.823s 21 laps
2. Nico Hülkenberg ART GP 1m 24.903s 31 laps
3. Pastor Maldonado ART GP 1m 25.025s 27 laps
4. Koudai Tsukakoshi Piquet 1m 25.138s 41 laps
5. Kamui Kobayashi DAMS 1m 25.213s 28 laps
6. Diego Nunes Piquet 1m 25.545s 43 laps
7. Giedo Van der Garde iSport 1m 25.549s 29 laps
8. Karun Chandhok Fisichella 1m 25.616s 21 laps
9. Charles Pic iSport 1m 25.638s 39 laps
10. Andreas Zuber Racing Engineering 1m 25.665s 24 laps
11. Vitaly Petrov Campos 1m 25.740s 28 laps
12. Luca Filippi Super Nova 1m 25.860s 18 laps
13. Alvaro Parente Racing Engineering 1m 26.016s 25 laps
14. Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS 1m 26.252s 23 laps
15. James Jakes Super Nova 1m 26.497s 31 laps
16. Michael Herck DPR 1m 26.508s 26 laps
17. Davide Rigon Campos 1m 26.546s 33 laps
18. Marcello Puglisi Durango 1m 26.573s 33 laps
19. Edoardo Mortara Trident 1m 26.854s 34 laps
20. Christian Ebbesvik Arden 1m 26.874s 31 laps
21. Chris van der Drift Trident 1m 26.990s 33 laps
22. Carlo van Dam Fisichella 1m 27.167s 32 laps
23. Luis Razia Arden 1m 27.666s 32 laps
24. Sten Pentus DPR 1m 28.075s 25 laps


Leading performances - PM session:

1. Pastor Maldonado ART GP 1m 24.727s 29 laps
2. Koudai Tsukakoshi Piquet 1m 25.015s 26 laps
3. Kamui Kobayashi DAMS 1m 25.025s 32 laps
4. Nico Hülkenberg ART GP 1m 25.063s 27 laps
5. Karun Chandhok Fisichella 1m 25.255s 33 laps
6. Andreas Zuber Racing Engineering 1m 25.437s 37 laps
7. Davide Valsecchi Durango 1m 25.539s 22 laps
8. Diego Nunes Piquet 1m 25.605s 32 laps
9. Alvaro Parente Racing Engineering 1m 25.667s 28 laps
10. Vitaly Petrov Campos 1m 25.747s 32 laps
11. Charles Pic iSport 1m 25.755s 35 laps
12. Giedo Van der Garde iSport 1m 25.831s 26 laps
13. Luca Filippi Super Nova 1m 25.860s 30 laps
14.Jerome D'Ambrosio DAMS 1m 26.055s 24 laps
15. Chris van der Drift Trident 1m 26.345s 28 laps
16. Davide Rigon Campos 1m 26.390s 43 laps
17. Michael Herck DPR 1m 26.514s 36 laps
18. Marcello Puglisi Durango 1m 26.607s 30 laps
19. Edoardo Mortara Trident 1m 26.803s 39 laps
20. Christian Ebbesvik Arden 1m 27.158s 28 laps
21. Sten Pentus DPR 1m 27.443s 35 laps
22. James Jakes Super Nova 1m 27.459s 10 laps
23. Luis Razia Arden 1m 28.064s 27 laps
24. Carlo van Dam Fisichella 1m 28.607s 13 laps


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Pastor Maldonado testing for ART Grand Prix at Jerez in late 2008
Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) clinches pole at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 21 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) in action at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 21 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) clinches pole at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 21 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) celebrates after claiming the final pole of the season at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 21 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix), Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) & Stephane Richelmi (MON, DAMS) after qualifying at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Friday 21 November 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn - Carlin [credit: GP3 Series]
Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Racing Engineering) at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) in action at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Friday 10 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) celebrates in parc ferme after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport) celebrates on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Marco Sorensen (DK, MP Motorsport), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Felipe Nasr (BRA, Carlin) celebrate on the podium after the Sunday sprint race at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Sunday 12 October 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) in Parc Ferme after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates in Parc Ferme after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International) celebrates with champagne on the podium after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Photo: Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Patric Niederhauser (SUI, Arden International), Dean Stoneman (GBR, Koiranen GP) and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) on the podium after race 2 at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jolyon Palmer (GBR, DAMS) celebrates at Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia. Saturday 11 October 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.)

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