The 2011 Auto GP season got off the line today with the first official test day on the Barcelona track. Fifteen drivers gathered at the Circuit de Catalunya, with a very clear weather giving the teams the chance to complete with no issues their different testing programs.
At the end of the day Luca Filippi emerged as the quickest driver: testing with TP Formula in the morning and with SuperNova in the afternoon, the Italian driver was the only one to break the 1’33 mark, posting an impressive 1’32”676.
Behind him were two rookies that are already on the right pace, Giovanni Venturini and Kevin Ceccon: driving for Durango, Venturini was quickest in the morning with 1’33”142, eventually his best time for the whole day, while Ceccon had a steady and impressive improvement, leading him to a good 1’33”208 in the afternoon session.
Ceccon managed to stay ahead of Zaugg, the South-African confirming all his talent with the second quickest laptime in the morning with SuperNova. Jon Lancaster, meanwhile, achieved a very impressive debut on the Auto GP car: the brit showed the right approach, and by the end of the day he posted a 1’33”620 on new rubber, roughly the same pace of his team-mate Marco Barba (1’33”667).
Behind Barba were Adrien Tambay, first of the DAMS drivers, Fabrizio Crestani and Rio Haryanto, who finished in the top ten thanks to an impressive progression in the afternoon and managed to stay ahead of Fabio Onidi. The experienced Italian driver was followed by two absolute rookies, Bruno Mendez and Samuele Buttarelli: being at the first kilometres on the Lola-Zytek car, they both focused on getting acquainted with the car, something that will undoubtedly prove useful tomorrow. It was a very similar situation for Chris Van der Drift and Sergei Afanasiev, completing their first laps on the Auto GP car, while Giuseppe Cipriani brought his learning process further forward, with big improvements in the afternoon up to a final 1’36”994.
-source: auto gp