GP2

Paul Ricard two-day test notes 2006-03-17

Record-breaking Lopez tops test Jose Maria Lopez leaves Circuit Paul Ricard tonight with a new lap record under his belt after touring the 3.853km "3D" track solution in 1:12.547. The Super Nova International driver topped both morning sessions...

Record-breaking Lopez tops test

Jose Maria Lopez leaves Circuit Paul Ricard tonight with a new lap record under his belt after touring the 3.853km "3D" track solution in 1:12.547. The Super Nova International driver topped both morning sessions at the track over the course of the two-day test, setting his quickest time in the middle of this morning's three-hour session.

Second quickest over the two days was Nelson Piquet Jr on a 1:12.716. The Piquet Sports driver set his fastest time in the final afternoon session to finish that particular three-hour period on top, shadowed closely by the ART Grand Prix car of Lewis Hamilton. The Briton posted a 1:12.736 to take the third quickest time overall.

Franck Perera posted the fourth fastest time overall with a 1:12.838 to give Dams a boost. And in only their second GP2 series test, the Trident Racing team once again had reasons to be cheerful as Andreas Zuber again showed his potential, posting the fifth quickest time overall. Another driver to set his best on the final afternoon, Andreas' 1:12.851 pushed Alex Premat in the ART Grand car down to sixth overall after the Frenchman had been the pace-setter on the first day, putting in a best lap of 1:12.887 to head the field at the end of Day 1. Just one thousandth of a second behind Premat in the overall classification was Hiroki Yoshimoto who took his BCN Competicion car around the track in 1:12.888.

Eighth quickest overall was Adrian Valles for Campos Racing. The Spaniard set a superb lap of 1:12.988 this afternoon to jump up into the overall top ten. Ninth went to Arden International's Nicolas Lapierre with a 1:13.108. The Frenchman set his time on the final morning to push Lucas di Grassi's Durango into tenth on an overall best of 1:13.120, set on the afternoon of the first day.

This test marks the final time that the GP2 series will test at Circuit Paul Ricard before our mid- season break. From here, the series moves on to Barcelona for our third pre-season test of 2006, on March 28-29. Just one week later, and the teams will arrive in Valencia for our final pre- season test and first race weekend.

The testing times here in France have been incredibly fast, and close, with the top 15 drivers regularly being covered by one second or less. With such high levels of competition exhibited throughout the field, everyone in the GP2 series is looking forward to the next test with great anticipation and expectation.

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nelson Piquet , Nicolas Lapierre , Hiroki Yoshimoto , Jose Maria Lopez , Adrian Valles , Andreas Zuber , Franck Perera
Teams ART Grand Prix , Trident , Campos Racing , Arden International