GP3 – Sims Leads The Way In Valencia

June 17, 2011

GP 3

Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims was the fastest man on track at a scorching hot Circuit de la Comunitat Valencia-Ricardo Tormo today, after setting the best time of 1:27.394 during the morning session of Day 1 of the final two-day mid-season test.
 
Today marked the start of the final GP3 Series mid-season test, and with the experts predicting that temperatures could rise above thirty degrees in Valencia today, all the drivers were quick to feed out onto the track for their initial installation laps when the lights turned green. Addax Team’s Gabby Chaves was the first driver to set a benchmark time of 1:27.913, with Adrian Quaife-Hobbs second quickest for Marussia Manor.
 
Sophomore Nico Müller found some extra time in his Jenzer car and briefly moved top of the timings ahead of rookie Chaves, but with just one hour gone in the session Sims edged ahead after setting a 1:27.751 laptime. From then on, the majority of the morning times were mostly static as teams used the time to continue developing a good understanding of the Pirelli P Zero soft slick tyres and concentrate on setups rather than quick times. At the end of the sessions Sims’s time remained unbeaten at the top ahead of Quaife-Hobbs, RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Michael Christensen, Müller and MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson.  
 
It was the Lotus ART trio of Valtteri Bottas, James Calado and Pedro Nunes who were planted firmly at the top of the timesheet for the first half of the afternoon session, until Dane Michael Christensen split the teammates to go second quickest. Marussia Manor Racing’s Rio Haryanto was behind the leading quartet, followed by his teammates Quaife-Hobbs and Matias Laine in sixth and seventh respectively. During the session teams were once again busy working on race simulations and setups ahead of Round 3 at Valencia Street Circuit next week.
 
With thirty minutes remaining, Sims took his place back at the top of the timings, but a red flag just ten minutes from the end of the session ensured a last minute shootout with nearly all the field heading back out on track for one final run when the lights turned green. In the dying minutes, Haryanto put together his best lap of the day to snatch the top spot bumping Sims into second, ahead of Bottas, Williamson, Dillmann, Quaife-Hobbs, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Laine, Christensen and Müller.
 
GP3 Series will be back on track tomorrow for the second and final day of testing at Circuit de la Comunitat Valencia-Ricardo Tormo.
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