Daniel Abt ends GP3 Valencia test on top

Reigning champions Lotus ART and Daniel Apt quickest on Day 2 in ValenciaThursday marked the final day of GP3 Series(tm) second post-season testing at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, and the teams were greeted with sunny but cool conditions in the morning. There were some new faces in the paddock with GP3 runner-up James Calado returning for the day with reigning champions Lotus ART alongside Aaro Vainio. Gabby Chaves joined Status Grand Prix and Alex Fontana joined Tech 1 Racing. Marlon Stockinger switched to Status Grand Prix, Yuri Grigorenko switched to Marussia Manor Racing, Tom Blomqvist moved to Carlin and Dmitry Suranovich to Addax Team. When the lights turned green the drivers were quick to hit the track on Pirelli P Zero slick tyres. An early red flag caused by Yuhi Sekiguchi going off in his RSC Mücke Motorsport car paused proceedings, but once back underway it was Matias Laine who took control of the timesheet. Except for a brief spell when he was knocked off the top spot by rookies Daniel Abt and Tio Ellinas, the young Finn held on to P1 for the first hour of the session.Continuing on from his impressive performance yesterday, Abt then found the extra time he needed to move ahead of the Marussia Manor Racing driver, and with the rest of the field unable to match his pace, the German held onto the spot for the remainder of the session. Laine clocked the second fastest time followed by Stockinger, Patric Niederhauser, Tamas Pal Kiss for Atech CRS GP and Calado. The afternoon was a relatively quiet one as most of the teams worked on race simulations and setups with the rookies. With just a few cars out on track at the start of the session, Maxim Zimin was top for MW Arden followed by his teammate Will Stevens and Tech 1 Racing's Alex Fontana. As the session progressed Laine continued to show his pace by putting his #12 car back in the top spot for Manor closely followed by Stockinger, who then snatched P1. Stevens was next to head the field for MW Arden, until the final twenty minutes of the session when a number of drivers hit the track on new rubber. Pal Kiss, Laine and Conor Daly all fought for P1 and it was American Conor Daly who eventually took the top honors for Carlin. Laine was second quickest ahead of Pal Kiss, Stockinger, Stevens, Ellinas, Gabby Chaves, Zimin, Fabio Gambrini and Niederhauser.GP3 Series(tm) will be back on track in Jerez next week for the final post-season test on 01-02 December.

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