American driver quickest in Day 1 at Bahrain International Circuit

The final GP2 Series pre-season test session opened today at Bahrain International Circuit on a dirty track. There was one change in the drivers’ entry list compared to last week as Vittorio Ghirelli joined Trident in car 22. Pirelli provided every driver with five sets of Hard compounds and two sets of Soft compounds for the three days of testing.

Stoffel Vandoorne was the first driver to feed onto the track as soon as the lights turned green, but it was Jolyon Palmer who set the early pace. The first half of the session was pretty quiet as drivers waited for the track to get cleaner. Kimiya Sato was the first man to set a laptime inside the 1m42s with Daniel De Jong first and then Julian Leal bettering the Japanese’s time to snatch the top spot.

Facu Regalia broke the 1m42s barrier along with Mitch Evans, but the Kiwi remained two tenths slower than the Argentine driver. Rio Haryanto found some extra pace to set a laptime of 1:41.400, but Felipe Nasr went even quicker and with one hour left on the clock, the Brazilian sat pretty at the top of the standings. Regalia was on a mission and improved on Nasr’s laptime by five hundredths. Twenty minutes before the end of the session, a red flag briefly halted the proceedings as Takuya Izawa stopped on track.

The action resumed but a second red flag happened soon after when Simon Trummer hit the kerb at Turn 10 and stopped on track. In the dying minutes, Arthur Pic moved up to P1, but at the chequered flag it was Daniel Abt who dipped under 1m41s and finished the session at the top, five tenths ahead of Pic. Abt’s teammate Regalia, Nasr, Haryanto, Alexander Rossi, Stéphane Richelmi, Evans, Johnny Cecotto and Jon Lancaster completed the top ten.

The afternoon session saw Palmer taking to the track first, but it was Vandoorne who set the early pace in a 1:41.916. As the clock ticked down, the top spot was claimed successively by Richelmi, Raffaele Marciello and Nasr. Evans became the first man to go under 1m41s and stayed on top of the standings until there were thirty minutes left in the session. Conor Daly went quickest in a 1:40.734, but countryman Rossi was able to go one tenth faster to snatch P1.

Abt moved up to P2 just before the session was shortly red flagged. The session was restarted with only ten minutes left on the clock. Evans moved up to P3 on his final attempt and at the chequered flag, Rossi remained the quickest man of the day ahead of Abt and Evans. Behind the trio, Daly, Palmer, Cecotto, Marciello, Ghirelli, Nasr and Vandoorne completed the top ten.

Tomorrow’s session will start at 9am local time.

Morning results

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:40.676 17
2. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:41.192 17
3. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 1:41.327 15
4. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:41.352 12
5. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:41.400 13
6. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:41.460 13
7. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:41.631 14
8. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:41.663 16
9. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:41.671 12
10. Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:41.711 12
11. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:41.739 27
12. André Negrao Arden International 1:41.849 15
13. Julian Leal Carlin 1:41.986 15
14. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:41.995 15
15. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:42.122 17
16. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:42.189 13
17. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:42.231 17
18. Rene Binder Arden International 1:42.286 14
19. Daniiel de Jong MP Motorsport 1:42.348 15
20. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:42.375 18
21. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:42.405 6
22. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:42.600 12
23. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:42.614 19
24. Vittorio Ghirelli Trident 1:43.294 14
25. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 2:05.004 34
26. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 2:08.207 32

Afternoon results

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:40.604 30
2. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:40.616 26
3. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:40.680 25
4. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:40.734 20
5. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:40.769 23
6. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:40.829 13
7. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:40.932 25
8. Vittorio Ghirelli Trident 1:40.976 21
9. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:41.022 23
10. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:41.041 28
11. Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:41.045 22
12. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:41.065 21
13. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 1:41.131 28
14. Julian Leal Carlin 1:41.195 17
15. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:41.275 23
16. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:41.359 23
17. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:41.368 21
18. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:41.394 23
19. Rene Binder Arden International 1:41.426 21
20. André Negrao Arden International 1:41.438 18
21. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:41.548 23
22. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:41.709 18
23. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:41.726 25
24. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:42.013 29
25. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:42.204 23
26. Daniiel De Jong MP Motorsport 1:42.282 19