Evans top at Silverstone GP3 pre season test‏

12th April 2012

MW Arden's Mitch Evans edges out teammate Matias Laine on day one of testing
 
The GP3 Series headed to Silverstone for the final two-day pre-season test
before the season commences in Barcelona next month. There was one new face
in the line-up for the test and that was British youngster Alice Powell
making her maiden appearance in a GP3 car for Status Grand Prix, hoping to
impress to land a drive for the upcoming season and become the third female
driver of the 2012 season.
 
The test session began under heavy clouds and cool temperatures as the
drivers made their way onto the track to make sure they gained some dry
running time with rain predicted. It was Kotaro Sakurai for Status Grand
Prix who headed the timesheets for the first 30 minutes before Carlin's
William Buller jumped to the top of the standings. After one hour, it was
the duo of MW Arden drivers Matias Laine and David Fumanelli leading the way
just before the first red flag of the day occurred when Powell spun at turn
13 getting to grips with her new machine.

Antonio Felix Da Costa then took control of the timings by the smallest of
the margins, as the session was brought to a halt when Tamas Pal Kiss
stopped on the circuit producing the second red flag of the morning. Felix
Da Costa driver improved on his lap time with a 1'51.206, just 0.018s faster
than Tio Ellinas and Evans as the drivers went into their final hour of the
morning session before the break. Within the last twenty minutes, MW Arden's
Evans set a lap of 1'50.276 which was over half a second quicker than his
nearest contenders Felix Da Costa and Ellinas. Buller, Alex Brundle, Marlon
Stockinger, Robert Visoiu, Aaro Vainio, Laine and Kevin Ceccon completed the
top ten. Evans best laptime was five tenths faster than the quickest time
posted at the Silverstone test in 2011.
 
It was Conor Daly who set the early pace in the afternoon session and then
Evans went P1 again. Ethan Ringel crashed after just two laps which caused a
red flag and put an early end to his day. When the session resumed, Laine
went top with a laptime of 1:50.292, four tenths faster than the New
Zealander.

In the final hour of the test, the rain that had been threatening finally
arrived, therefore preventing any drivers from improving on their earlier
laptimes. Several drivers ventured out onto the slippery circuit for some
vital wet running, the first for many drivers in a GP3 car for this season.
Finnish driver Laine finished just two hundredths off the Evans' fastest
time of the day making it a successful day for MW Arden topping both
timesheets. Daly finished P3 with Buller, Vainio, Ellinas, Visoiu, Daniel
Abt, Brundle and Patric Niederhauser.
 

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