Van der Garde fastest in Abu Dhabi

By on Thursday, February 3, 2011

(GP2 Media) It was a slow start to the second day of GP2 Asia Series pre-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit as teams and drivers were greeted by fog, delaying the session by one hour. When the sun came out, so did the drivers for their installation laps. James Jakes at Scuderia Coloni opted for a first run setting the early pace but it was soon bettered first by Andrea Caldarelli at Ocean Racing and then by Romain Grosjean at Dams. The Frenchman stayed at the top of the timesheet until his fellow countryman Jules Bianchi improved his best laptime by eight tenths. The Lotus ART racer went three tenths even quicker just as Davide Valsecchi at Team AirAsia moved up to P2. Addax’s Giedo van der Garde went top temporarily until Bianchi set his fastest laptime of the morning session in a 1:50.007. No one else could match that time although the top 14 drivers ended up within the same second, with Sam Bird entering the Top 3 after a difficult first test day yesterday due to mechanical gremlins. The morning session was briefly red flagged three times.

With just a hour break, the track activity restarted quickly - Charles Pic at Addax set the early pace with Rapax’s Julian Leal and Coloni’s Michael Herck in tow. Just before the halfway point of the session, Bird went under the 1m50s barrier taking control of the timesheet ahead of Grosjean and van der Garde. But the Brit was soon caught by Grosjean, Trident’s duo Stefano Coletti and Rodolfo Gonzalez, and Pic who pushed Bird back to P5. The iSport ace lost another spot when Valsecchi improved and moved up to P3.

On the two hour mark Josef Kral at Arden went top but not for long as van der Garde went under the 1m49s barrier with a laptime of 1:48.499 – one tenth quicker than Oliver Turvey’s pole position during GP2 Series 2010 final round in Abu Dhabi. The Dutchman was soon matched but not beaten by Bird and Bianchi who both went under 1m49s barrier. The session was cut 15 minutes short after Jakes went off track and damaged the barrier, making it impossible for the rest of the drivers to take advantage of their new set of tyres.

The action will continue in two days time on Sunday, February 6th at 9am local time for another two-day test session.

Morning session

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:50.007 27
2. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:50.066 18
3. Sam Bird iSport International 1:50.120 11
4. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:50.166 19
5. Max Chilton Carlin 1:50.276 13
6. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:50.343 24
7. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:50.539 15
8. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:50.544 15
9. Josef Kral Arden International 1:50.561 18
10. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:50.616 14
11. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:50.641 24
12. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:50.787 16
13. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:50.894 20
14. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:5-.969 16
15. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:51.122 15
16. Johnny Cecotto Super Nova Racing 1:51.190 16
17. Julian Leal Rapax 1:51.198 18
18. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:51.347 20
19. James Jakes Scuderia Coloni 1:51.369 16
20. Oliver Turvey Ocean Racing Technology 1:51.456 19
21. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1:51.482 21
22. Andrea Caldarelli Ocean Racing Technology 1:51.571 6
23. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:51.615 16
24. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:51.760 14
25. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:51.802 21
26. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:52.141 19

Afternoon session

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:48.499 17
2. Sam Bird iSport International 1:48.778 14
3. Jules Bianchi Lotus ART 1:48.868 12
4. Charles Pic Barwa Addax Team 1:49.156 23
5. Davide Valsecchi Team AirAsia 1:49.185 20
6. Josef Kral Arden International 1:49.220 13
7. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:49.340 25
8. Max Chilton Carlin 1:49.413 25
9. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:49.431 20
10. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:49.474 14
11. Luiz Razia Team AirAsia 1:49.591 20
12. Stefano Coletti Trident Racing 1:49.627 19
13. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus ART 1:49.740 15
14. Andrea Caldarelli Ocean racing Technology 1:49.888 23
15. Johnny Cecotto Super Nova Racing 1:49.914 24
16. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident Racing 1:49.945 14
17. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:49.956 19
18. Oliver Turvey Ocean Racing Technology 1:49.982 19
19. James Jakes Scuderia Coloni 1:50.129 9
20. Pal Varhaug Dams 1:50.207 16
21. Julian Leal Rapax 1:50.310 15
22. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova Racing 1:50.495 22
23. Michael Herck Scuderia Coloni 1:50.566 20
24. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1:50.703 13
25. Mikhail Aleshin Carlin 1:50.727 16
26. Jolyon Palmer Arden International 1:50.995 17

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