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Carroll heads Magny-Cours free practice.


Adam Carroll continued to underline Racing Engineering's return to the front of the GP2 Series field by putting himself at the top of the timesheets in Friday morning's free practice session at Magny-Cours.

The Briton, who secured a front row start and two podium finishes on home soil at Silverstone before the mid-summer break, posted a best time of 1min 24.456secs that proved to be just over a tenth too good for the rest of the 26-car field. Interestingly, Carroll set his time early in the session, before spending the remainder of his track time working on set-up, leaving the rest of the field to play catch-up.

At the end of the half-hour session, it was Hiroki Yoshimoto and Nelson Piquet Jr who filled out the rest of the top three, although both also set their best laps early on as an unusually quiet practice session saw the teams prefer to perfect their cars for the afternoon qualifying session.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was down in ninth place, as he had been during the recent Paul Ricard test, with ART Grand Prix team-mate Alex Premat only one place better off. More sandbagging from the champions, or a reflection of their true pace this weekend?

Behind Piquet, who will hope that ART has an off-weekend on the circuit where it turned last season around, Olivier Pla returned from an enforced injury break to claim a promising fourth spot for DPR Direxiv, while Jose Maria Lopez, fastest in testing, completed the top five as he looks to turn his year around with a good result.

As usual, the times were as close as ever, with the top three separated by less than two-tenths, one second covering 13 drivers, down to Franck Perera, and all bar three cars being within two seconds of the top time. Those off the pace were Fairuz Fauzy and usual suspect Jason Tahinci, while points frontrunners Gianmaria Bruni and Ernesto Viso both featured in the top ten.

The only notable off-track excursions involved a spin by Premat at Chateau d'Eau, while Javier Villa and Luca Filippi also took small trips across the gravel. Giorgio Pantano stopped on track in the dying moments with a suspected brake linkage problem.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Adam Carroll - Racing Engineering [pic credit: GP2 Series media]
Olivier Pla - DPR Direxiv   [pic credit: GP2 media]
Jose Maria Lopez - Super Nova International   [pic credit: GP2 media]
Matt Parry - Koiranen GP   [pic credit: GP3 Media Service]
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Seb Morris (GBR, Status Grand Prix) &Matheo Tuscher (SUI, Jenzer Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) leads Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Trident) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) & Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) celebrates in parc ferme. Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) crosses the line and takes the chequered flag and the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) celebrates on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) celebrates on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service

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