GP2 – Bianchi Steals Top Spot In Practice

June 24, 2011

GP 2

Jules Bianchi stole an early march on his rivals by claiming the fastest lap on a final dash for the flag on the last lap in this morning’s free practice, pushing countryman Romain Grosjean down the timesheets as Bianchi greeted the chequered flag at the end of the session ahead of Giedo van der Garde and Luca Filippi.
 
Bianchi’s best time of 1:47.681 was less than a tenth ahead of the Dutchman, but it will give the Frenchman hope that he can put his early season troubles behind him as he looks to close down the points difference in the Series tables, as well as on the time sheets.
 
The session got under way in hot conditions but under a blanket of cloud as Lotus ART teammate Esteban Gutierrez set the early pace, but Series leader Grosjean soon resumed normal service by taking the top spot for himself: when Josef Kral spun and stalled at turn 14 the red flags were out immediately, denying the opportunity for a fight back as everyone returned to the pits for new tyres.
 
When the track went green again everyone set about cutting into the Frenchman’s laptime, with Sam Bird, Gutierrez and Christian Vietoris all giving Grosjean something to consider, but when Pal Varhaug stopped at turn 14 the red flags looked to have brought an early end to the session: however, happily the track was clear with 3 minutes remaining, handing everyone one last chance for glory.
 
Grosjean was the first man on track but was held up by late pitlane exiters next time round: everyone else was running faster than before and it was Bianchi who claimed the one lap honours, ahead of van der Garde and Filippi. Grosjean had to accept P4, ahead of Charles Pic, Dani Clos, Bird and Gutierrez, all of whom will be looking for revenge in this afternoon’s qualifying session at the technically demanding circuit.
 
Valencia – Free Practice
 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Jules Bianchi
Lotus ART
1:47.681
12
2.
Giedo van der Garde
1:47.736
11
3.
Luca Filippi
Super Nova Racing
1:48.114
9
4.
Romain Grosjean
Dams
1:48.189
10
5.
Charles Pic
Barwa Addax Team
1:48.206
10
6.
Dani Clos
Racing Engineering
1:48.308
11
7.
Sam Bird
iSport International
1:48.456
9
8.
Esteban Gutierrez
Lotus ART
1:48.484
12
9.
Davide Valsecchi
Caterham Team AirAsia
1:48.520
11
10.
Christian Vietoris
Racing Engineering
1:48.707
10
11.
Max Chilton
Carlin
1:48.800
11
12.
Alvaro Parente
Carlin
1:48.881
11
13.
Michael Herck
Scuderia Coloni
1:48.931
11
14.
Marcus Ericsson
iSport International
1:48.960
9
15.
Luiz Razia
Caterham Team AirAsia
1:49.146
10
16.
Fairuz Fauzy
Super Nova Racing
1:49.650
11
17.
Fabio Leimer
Rapax
1:49.759
10
18.
Johnny Cecotto
Ocean Racing Technology
1:49.805
11
19
Jolyon Palmer
Arden International
1:50.056
9
20.
Rodolfo Gonzalez
Trident Racing
1:50.229
10
21.
Pal Varhaug
Dams
1:50.412
7
22.
Kevin Ceccon
Scuderia Coloni
1:50.997
11
23.
Julian Leal
Rapax
1:51.238
10
24.
Kevin Mirocha
Ocean Racing Technology
1:51.567
11
25.
Josef Kral
Arden International
1:59,.074
3
26.
Stefano Coletti
Trident Racing
1:59.640
9
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