Michael Herck ends on top
DPR driver sets fastest laptime of post season test in Abu Dhabi
The Yas Marina Circuit hosted the fourth and last post season test day today marking the end of the 2010 campaign, but also the last run of the GP2/08 car after three thrilling seasons that crowned Italian Giorgio Pantano, German Nico Hulkenberg and Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado. In three years, teams and drivers have covered 63.500 kilometres on Bridgestone tyres.
Luiz Razia and Adrian Zaugg (still struggling with a sore wrist following a collision in the last round of the 2010 season in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago) joined the field today at Barwa Addax and Trident while James Jakes, Pal Varhaug, Jan Charouz and Charles Pic re-entered the drivers' list respectively at Super Nova, Dams and Rapax.
The session opened under clear blue skies and in warm temperatures. Fastest in the first day's morning session and one of the quickest men on track since then, Michael Herck at DPR was the man to beat today: the Romanian set the quickest laptime of the morning session ahead of Josef Kral at iSport. In his second day of testing, Coloni's rookie Adrian Quaife-Hobbs clocked in the third fastest laptime ahead of two other newcomers, DPR's Kevin Ceccon and ART's Esteban Gutierrez. Two red flags briefly interrupted the session, one caused by Arden's Rio Haryanto after the young Indonesian jumped on a curve, damaging his car and putting an early end to his day.
After the break and in rising temperatures, the final afternoon session saw this week's strongest man Fabio Leimer at Rapax claim the top spot for most of the three-hour run with Herck progressively improving. With twenty minutes left on the clock, Herck set an impressive time of a 1:47.138 - the best laptime of all four days of testing. Leimer had to settle for second best today after having dominated on Day 2 and Day 3. At the wheel of an iSport car, Josef Kral moved up to P3 in the final thirty minutes of the session while Alexander Rossi at Racing Engineering finished fourth and best rookie of the day.
This concludes the post season testing of 2010. A total of 39 drivers took part of the four day tests It's time for everyone to turn a new leaf and look ahead: in a few weeks, 2011 will bring a new car, new faces and new challenges. Next stop: pre-season tests on February 2-3 and 6-7 which will be held again at Yas Marina Circuit before the opening round of the fourth GP2 Asia Series in Abu Dhabi.