GP2

Perera tops times in Barcelona tests

Franck Perera ended up with the fastest time at the two test days for the GP2 Series held on the racetrack of Montmelo in Barcelona, Spain. The French was followed by the Venezuelan Ernesto Viso and Lewis Hamilton, with a car of ART Grand ...

Franck Perera ended up with the fastest time at the two test days for the GP2 Series held on the racetrack of Montmelo in Barcelona, Spain. The French was followed by the Venezuelan Ernesto Viso and Lewis Hamilton, with a car of ART Grand Prix.

DAMS team dominated the pre-season tests in Circuit de Catalunya with Perera taking the top spot with an impressive lap time of 1m22s467 in today`s morning session, where were set nine of the ten quickest times of both journeys.

"We have been progressing at each test and this is really good before starting this new season. We have the fastest time here but this is pre-season testing, everyone is doing different things. The level is really high in GP2 and we will see at Valencia for the first race weekend of the season what we can do", Perera stated.

The 22 year-old French driver was able to build an advantage of almost 0s3 over second overall Viso and over half a second to third Hamilton, an important gap in a highly competitive category as GP2. Surely, it was another reason of happiness for Technical & Managing Director of DAMS, Eric Boullier.

"We were expecting lap times under the 1'23 this morning and Franck did an impressive lap. Taking the lap record of a race track, especially Barcelona, is a satisfaction but there is still much more to do. We are planning more and more things to be tested in the future and our main purpose is to keep improving every time we go on track", commented Boullier.

Viso joined Perera in the excusive club of the under 1m23 barrier by setting 1m22s755 with the Dallara-Renault of iSport International. The Venezuelan had a fantastic job during the two days being always in the top places.

"Everything got as we planed it. We were able to improve 0s7 in the morning and in the afternoon we worked in the race set-up. We are all very satisfied in iSport because we were the most consistent here in Barcelona, from where we take important data to continue working", mentioned the 21 year-old driver from Caracas, Venezuela.

ART Grand Prix put it both drivers in third and fourth with Hamilton and Alexandre Premat. The rookie British driver was able to beat once again his French teammate in a pre-season test session.

Hamilton set 1m23s003 while Premat ended right behind him with a fastest mark of 1m23s148.

Nicolas Lapierre and Tristan Gommendy completed top six places and confirmed the excellent performance of French drivers with four of them in the top six. Lapierre returned a car of Arden International to quickest positions and Gommendy joined Viso to closed a strong session for iSport drivers.

Seventh and eighth belong to both Brazilian drivers from Piquet Sports, Nelson A. Piquet and Alexandre Negrao. The son of the former F1 World Champion was the only one that get into top ten with yesterday`s lap time.

The Spaniard Adrian Valles, with Campos Racing, and Argentinean Jose Maria Lopez took ninth and tenth in the overall of Barcelona`s positions.

Perera`s time of 1m22s467 was over two seconds fastest than the pole position of 2005 set in this same circuit. Another show that the slick tyres are making their job in the new GP2 cars for this season.

The GP2 field will now move to Valencia, Spain for the final pre-season tests on April 5th and 6th, while the official launch of the 2006 season will be on April 7th in that same circuit, scenary of the first round of the year.

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Alexandre Funari "Xandy" Negrao , Tristan Gommendy , Nicolas Lapierre , Alexandre Prémat , Adrian Valles , Ernesto Viso , Franck Perera
Teams DAMS , ART Grand Prix , Campos Racing , Arden International