Aitken tops Sepang GP3 Free Practice

Arden International’s Jack Aitken fastest in opening session in MalaysiaBriton Jack Aitken set the quickest time in free practice at the Sepang International Circuit as the GP3 Series marked its maiden visit to the track. The Arden and Renault Sport Academy’s driver best laptime was a 1:50.883. DAMS’ Kevin Joerg and ART Grand Prix’s Nyck de Vries completed the top three.In a change to the traditional schedule, GP3 free practice has been run on a Thursday with the session running for 30 minutes. There were two changes to the line-up compared to Monza: Italian rookie Alessio Lorandi has joined Jenzer Motorsport, whilst Koiranen GP runs with two drivers only.Under cloudy conditions, the drivers took to the track; with the large majority of them driving the track for the first time. ART Grand Prix’s Alexander Albon set the initial pace, ahead of De Vries and Jake Hughes. Trident’s Antonio Fuoco rose to P2 within the first ten minutes as the drivers returned to the pitlane for changes at the midway point of the session.Albon was first to lap into the 1m51’s, closely followed by his teammate and Honda driver Nirei Fukuzumi. Sandy Stuvik was hot on his tails and recorded a laptime 0.001s shy of his fellow countryman. Scuderia Ferrari Team Development driver and Series leader Charles Leclerc found some extra pace to fly to the head of the timesheet, before McLaren protégé De Vries bettered his time to go top.Aitken was on a charge and shot to P1, before De Vries retaliated, gaining one tenth on the Briton. Joerg shot to the top spot in the final moments, but it was Aitken who saved the best until the last to reclaim P1 and lead the pack as the chequered flag was waved to signify the end of the session.Aitken, Joerg, De Vries, Jake Dennis, Santino Ferrucci, Arjun Maini, Alexander Albon, Fukuzumi, Leclerc and Nandy completed the top ten.Qualifying takes place at 16.50 local time tomorrow morning (GMT+8).