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Jack Aitken ends day 2 on top

Jack Aitken ends day 2 on top

23 MAR 2017

British ace fastest in wet/dry, Russell fastest overall

Jack Aitken has grabbed the day 2 bragging rights by topping this afternoon’s session in mixed conditions on the final day of the first GP3 Series test session of 2017 at the Circuito de Estoril, easily surpassing George Russell’s best time in wet conditions this morning with a laptime of 1:28.125, but Russell claimed the overall honours with the best time of the test at 1:27.606, set yesterday afternoon.

The GP3 paddock was greeted by rays of sunshine this morning to open day 2 of pre-season testing, but grey clouds made their way across the Portuguese track minutes before the pitlane turned green. As the cars fed onto the track, rain drops fell from the sky and the session was soon declared wet.

There was an early red flag period after Raoul Hyman stopped at Turn 3. When the proceedings resumed, Alessio Lorandi set the pace, but his time was bettered first by Niko Kari and then by Russell who posted his best laptime after 45 minutes.

On the one hour mark, the session was briefly halted when Julien Falchero stopped on track with a broken suspension. The weather conditions improved slightly but remained cold and windy. There were two more red flag periods courtesy of Tatiana Calderon and then Nirei Fukuzumi.

At the chequered flag, Russell sat pretty at the top of the timesheets ahead of Anthoine Hubert, Lorandi, Fukuzumi, Jack Aitken, Ryan Tveter, Kari, Steijn Schothorst, Hyman and Giuliano Alesi.

The afternoon session opened under blue skies. Schothorst was the first man to take to the track on slick tyres and set the pace in a 1:37.326, but fifteen minutes into the session rain started to fall hard over the circuit, sending the few cars scurrying back to the pits.

After a quiet period waiting for the rain to stop, Kari led the rest of the pack back on track. The proceedings were halted after Hyman went off track at Turn 7 and clipped the barrier, although the Campos tester could at least rejoin the session. On a drying track, he switched to slick tyres to take the top spot, but Lorandi also improved and went half a second quicker with one hour left on the clock.

Marcos Siebert was the first man to dip under 1m30s, but the top spot then switched hands between Russell, Maini and Alesi with the Briton able to eventually break the 1m29s barrier just before another short shower.

In the dying minutes, Schothorst, Alesi, Fukuzumi and Aitken improved. The latter set his best laptime of 1:28.125 just before a final red flag caused by Calderon and Bruno Baptista, who went off track at Turns 1 and 13 respectively, effectively ending the day.

The teams will now head back to their factories and start working towards the next test, which will open in just under a month’s time in Barcelona, Spain on 19-20 April.

Day 2 Morning results

 

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

George Russell

ART Grand Prix

1:37.543

45

2.

Anthoine Hubert

ART Grand Prix

1:38.401

38

3.

Alessio Lorandi

Jenzer Motorsport

1:38.476

35

4.

Nirei Fukuzumi

ART Grand Prix

1:38.584

44

5.

Jack Aitken

ART Grand Prix

1:38.875

40

6.

Ryan Tveter

Trident

1:39.305

41

7.

Niko Kari

Arden International

1:40.107

23

8.

Steijn Schothorst

Arden International

1:40.269

22

9.

Raoul Hyman

Campos Racing

1:40.574

31

10.

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

1:41.374

18

11.

Leonardo Pulcini

Arden International

1:41.452

35

12.

Dorian Boccolacci

Trident

1:41.547

24

13.

Kevin Jörg

Trident

1:41.734

26

14.

Tatiana Calderon

DAMS

1:42.366

41

15.

Arjun Maini

Jenzer Motorsport

1:42.480

45

16.

Santino Ferrucci

DAMS

1:42.791

40

17.

Bruno Baptista

DAMS

1:43.059

42

18.

Marcos Siebert

Campos Racing

1:43.208

29

19.

Julien Falchero

Campos Racing

1:43.812

22

Day 2 Afternoon results

 

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Jack Aitken

ART Grand Prix

1:28.125

18

2.

Nirei Fukuzumi

ART Grand Prix

1:28.466

19

3.

George Russell

ART Grand Prix

1:28.740

18

4.

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

1:28.871

32

5.

Steijn Schothorst

Arden International

1:28.913

37

6.

Niko Kari

Arden International

1:28.938

37

7.

Arjun Maini

Jenzer Motorsport

1:29.087

51

8.

Marcos Siebert

Campos Racing

1:29.266

41

9.

Leonardo Pulcini

Arden International

1:29.444

24

10.

Alessio Lorandi

Jenzer Motorsport

1:29.510

35

11.

Anthoine Hubert

ART Grand Prix

1:29.520

21

12.

Dorian Boccolacci

Trident

1:29.526

32

13.

Santino Ferrucci

DAMS

1:29.620

34

14.

Raoul Hyman

Campos Racing

1:29.638

33

15.

Kevin Jörg

Trident

1:29.693

23

16.

Bruno Baptista

DAMS

1:29.777

38

17.

Ryan Tveter

Trident

1:29.937

33

18.

Tatiana Calderon

DAMS

1:30.355

30

19.

Julien Falchero

Campos Racing

1:31.098

47