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Sainz fastest as second generation GP3 car makes its debut

Sainz fastest as second generation GP3 car makes its debut

20 FEB 2013

MW Arden’s Carlos Sainz quickest in first official 2013 pre-season test in Estoril

The long winter is over! The GP3/13 car made its eagerly anticipated first appearance for the inaugural official pre-season test at Circuito Estoril today. With a full grid of 27 drivers, the new car has already proven to be a success with a trouble free day and already more than 3 seconds faster than its previous generation on the same track. Two teams join the Series: Koiranen GP from Finland and Bamboo Engineering from the UK.

The atmosphere in the pitlane was electric with nerves and excitement amongst the teams and drivers as expectations were high. Luis Sa Silva (Carlin) made history becoming the first driver to fire up the new 400hp car and venture onto the circuit. The roar of the engine was an incredible sound as it marked the start of the 2013 GP3 Series season.

The drivers got to grips with the demands of the GP3/13 car setting installation laps and gaining a feel of the car and its limits. Eric Lichtenstein (Carlin) was first to set the pace, with Kevin Korjus (Koiranen GP), David Fumanelli (Trident) and Daniil Kvyat (MW Arden) rounding out the top four for the early part of the session.

Russian Kvyat then topped the timesheets with a laptime a tenth shy of the previous track record until the final ten minutes when Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) flew to P1 to set a best lap of 1:29.396 breaking the previous GP3 track record. At the chequered flag it was Ellinas, Kvyat, Fumanelli, Carlos Sainz (MW Arden), Nick Yelloly (Carlin), Lichtenstein, Korjus, Robert Visoiu (MW Arden), Emanuel Zonzini (Trident) and Vicky Piria (Marussia Manor Racing) completing the top ten.

The temperatures dropped following the two hour break as Aaro Vainio shot to P1 after lapping in a 1:28.971 which set a new precedent. Fumanelli posted a hot lap to head the timings until Kvyat marched to the top of the timesheets with a 1.27.616, nearly three quarters of a second faster than the Italian.

At the start of the last hour there was a brief red flag for Ethan Ringel (Bamboo Engineering) after he spun. In the final fifteen minutes, Kvyat’s teammate Sainz claimed P1 setting the day’s best of 1;26.815 over 8 tenths faster. At the chequered flag it was Sainz Jr, Kvyat, Ellinas, Fumanelli, Korjus, Visoiu, Giovanni Venturini (Trident), Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport) and ART Grand Prix teammates Facu Regalia and Conor Daly finalising the top ten.

MW Arden’s Carlos Sainz said: “I am really happy today, this was my first time driving Circuito Estoril and I am P1. So many people had said how difficult the GP3/13 car would be to drive and they were right! I was so surprised with the amount of power and speed, in particular through the corners. It’s very challenging for us and it’s a very good feeling driving a car with 400hp, we had a great base to start with so we will see what we can achieve.”

GP3 Series Technical Director Didier Perrin commented: “Today has been a big success. The car looks beautiful, it sounds fantastic and as anticipated it’s much quicker than the GP3/10. We have achieved over 650 laps on day one of testing. With more power, the car will be much more demanding for drivers’ therefore I am very confident that when we arrive in Barcelona for the first round, we will produce an even better show and a high level of exciting competition.” 

Tomorrow's test session will run from 09.00 - 12.00 with a two hour break. The afternoon session will run from 14.00 - 17.00 CET.

Day 1: Morning

 

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Tio Ellinas

Marussia Manor Racing

1: 29.396

13

2.

Daniil Kvyat

MW Arden

1:30.302

15

3.

David Fumanelli

Trident

1:30.605

16

4.

Carlos Sainz

MW Arden

1:31.283

12

5.

Nick Yelloly

Carlin

1:31.351

17

6.

Eric Lichtenstein

Carlin

1:31.388

19

7.

Kevin Korjus

Koiranen GP

1:31.780

13

8.

Robert Visoiu

MW Arden

1:31.787

13

9.

Emanuele Zonzini

Trident

1:31.808

13

10.

Vicky Piria

Marussia Manor Racing

1:31.960

16

11.

Giovanni Venturini

Trident

1:32.162

19

12.

Dino Zamparelli

Marussia Manor Racing

1:32.467

11

13.

Luis Sa Silva

Carlin

1:32.584

20

14.

Roberto La Rocca

Bamboo Engineering

1:32.780

7

15.

Patrick Kujala

Koiranen GP

1:34.241

4

16.

Adderly Fong

Status Grand Prix

1:54.042

1

17.

Lewis Williamson

Bamboo Engineering

30:45.100

2

18.

Ethan Ringel

Bamboo Engineering

56:27.375

1

19.

Jimmy Eriksson

Status Grand Prix

2:20.016

1

20.

Aaro Vainio

Koiranen GP

-

0

21.

Josh Webster

Status Grand Prix

-

0

22.

Alex Fontana

Jenzer Motorsport

-

0

23.

Patric Niederhauser

Jenzer Motorsport

-

0

24.

Samin Gomez

Jenzer Motorsport

-

0

25.

Jack Harvey

ART Grand Prix

-

0

26.

Facu Regalia

ART Grand Prix

-

0

27.

Conor Daly

ART Grand Prix

-

0

Day 1: Afternoon

 

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Carlos Sainz

MW Arden

1:26.816

29

2.

Daniil Kvyat

MW Arden

1:27.616

27

3.

Tio Ellinas

Marussia Manor Racing

1:27.681

19

4.

David Fumanelli

Trident

1:27.714

26

5.

Kevin Korjus

Koiranen GP

1:27.846

25

6.

Robert Visoiu

MW Arden

1:27.871

24

7.

Giovanni Venturini

Trident

1:28.021

30

8.

Patric Niederhauser

Jenzer Motorsport

1:28.068

42

9.

Facu Regalia

ART Grand Prix

1:28.112

27

10.

Conor Daly

ART Grand Prix

1:28.309

28

11.

Jack Harvey

ART Grand Prix

1:28.509

21

12.

Patrick Kujala

Koiranen GP

1:28.614

24

13.

Aaro Vainio

Koiranen GP

1:28.791

19

14.

Alex Fontana

Jenzer Motorsport

1:28.844

28

15.

Nick Yelloly

Carlin

1:29.019

28

16.

Adderly Fong

Status Grand Prix

1:29.029

26

17.

Emanuele Zonzini

Trident

1:29.159

28

18.

Dino Zamparelli

Marussia Manor Racing

1:29.201

30

19.

Josh Webster

Status Grand Prix

1:29.417

27

20.

Samin Gomez

Jenzer Motorsport

1:29.682

35

21.

Vicky Piria

Marussia Manor Racing

1:29.816

27

22.

Eric Lichtenstein

Carlin

1:29.852

27

23.

Ethan Ringel

Bamboo Engineering

1:30.266

27

24.

Luis Sa Silva

Carlin

1:30.477

26

25.

Jimmy Eriksson

Status Grand Prix

1:30.694

29

26.

Lewis Williamson

Bamboo Engineering

1:31.142

9

27.

Roberto La Rocca

Bamboo Engineering

1:31.313

13