Koiranen GP driver on top in pre-season test in Spain
Koiranen GP’s Matthew Parry posted the quickest time this morning on a wet track at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia on the second day of pre-season testing. The Brit’s best lap was 0.064’s faster than ART Grand Prix’s Nirei Fukuzumi. Ferrari Driver Academy and fellow ART GP debutant Charles Leclerc clocked the fastest time in the afternoon session.
Heavy rain had fallen just prior to the session so the 24 drivers were greeted with a wet track and much cooler temperatures at the start of day two. Conditions were fairly tricky at the beginning of the test due to the volume of spray as the grid ventured out on track with their wet Pirelli tyres.
Fukuzumi was the initial pace-setter before Campos Racing’s Steijn Schothorst took control of the timesheet after one hour and thirty minutes as blue skies and sunshine made a welcome appearance. Trident’s Giuliano Alesi went P1 as he was first to dip under the 1m30s bracket.
The lap-times continued to come down in the latter part of the session as the track dried with Parry recording a time of 1:23.549 on slick tyres. Russian Matevos Isaakyan broke into the 1m22s barrier, which was subsequently followed by a short red flag period after his teammate Ralph Boschung stopped on track.
Once the session resumed, positions swapped every few minutes with Trident’s Antonio Fuoco and ART Grand Prix’s Charles Leclerc first to lap in the 1m21s. Parry found some extra pace to go top before Leclerc retaliated and bettered the Brit’s time by two tenths. In the final ten minutes, Fukuzumi demoted teammate Leclerc to second by a mere 0.004s but the action wasn’t over as Parry returned to the top of the timings by 0.064s.
At the chequered flag Parry, Fukuzumi, Leclerc, Alexander Albon, Artur Janosz, Nyck de Vries, Oscar Tunjo, Antonio Fuoco, Alex Palou and Jake Hughes completed the top ten.
Following the one hour lunch break, Fukuzumi led the way early on before Parry again found some extra pace to leapfrog the Japanese rookie by three tenths. Leclerc lapped a tenth quicker to grab P1, whilst Hughes rose to second in the final half hour.
At the close of the afternoon session Leclerc remained unchallenged in front of Hughes, Parry, Santino Ferrucci, Boschung, Kevin Jörg, Fukuzumi, Alexander Albon, Jake Dennis and Konstantin Tereshchenko.
The third and final pre-season test will held at the Circuit de Catalunya on April 20-21 in Barcelona.