Stanaway sets the pace in Hockenheim GP3 free practice

Status Grand Prix’s Richie Stanaway fastest in Free Practice in Germany

Kiwi Richie Stanaway posted the quickest time in a sweltering Free Practice session at the Hockenheimring Friday with a best lap of 1:29.473. Local hero Marvin Kirchhöfer from ART Grand Prix was second fastest ahead of Stanaway’s Status Grand Prix teammate Nick Yelloly.

The forty-five minute session got underway with a very high track temperature of 52 degrees Celsius. Series leader and Red Bull Junior team driver Alex Lynn was first to lap in the 1m31’s whilst his Carlin teammate Emil Bernstorff had a small moment at turn 12 running across the gravel and re-joining.

Yelloly broke into the 1m30’s, 0.051s second ahead of his fellow Brit with Arden International’s Patric Niederhauser third. Lynn lost time on two of his laps when he ran wide at turn one and turn six, which caught out a number of drivers during the session.

Jenzer Motorsport’s Adderly Fong ran wide on the exit of turn one which sent his machine into a 360 degree spin as the car twitched and made contact with the barrier, thus causing a premature end to his session as he climbed out unhurt.

With ten minutes remaining on the clock, Marussia Manor Racing’s Patrick Kujala shot to P1 with Mathéo Tuscher (Jenzer Motorsport) hot on his tail. The Finn improved on his personal best to increase his advantage at the front but the Kiwi Stanaway had other ideas and set a blazing laptime to head the timings and remain on top at the chequered flag, with Kirchhöfer rising to P2 and splitting the Status Grand Prix duo.

In the final moments Koiranen GP’s Santiago Urrutia had an excursion into the gravel trap, whilst Riccardo Agostini also stopped on track at the end of the practice. Behind the top three of Stanaway, Kirchhöfer and Yelloly were Dino Zamparelli, Kujala, Bernstorff, Niederhauser, Lynn, Roman De Beer and Agostini.

Qualifying takes place at 09.45 am local time this morning and with a further increase in temperatures– it promises to be a very demanding session for all 27 drivers.