It was a perfect way for newcomers Hilmer Motorsport to start their GP2 career: on the opening day of the first pre-season test session, the German squad put Tom Dillmann at the top of the timesheets.
The Frenchman who was testing for Hilmer today set a laptime of 1:25.059 in the final minutes of the afternoon session.
The day started under blue skies but in cold temperatures. As soon as the pitlane opened, the cars fed to the track but once their installation lap was done, the drivers opted to stay safely tucked away in their garages waiting for the temperatures to rise.
At the restart, Dillmann went top, but his laptime was almost immediately bettered by Johnny Cecotto at Arden. As we entered the final hour of the morning session, Marcus Ericsson put his DAMS car at the top of the timesheets before Sergio Canamasas went off track at Turn 2 and saw his Caterham machine end in the tyre barrier, prompting another red flag.
When the session went live again, Carlin's Jolyon Palmer found some extra pace and nipped to the top spot, 0.09s quicker than Ericsson. There was one final interruption with three minutes left on the clock as Mitch Evans stopped his Arden car at Turn 13 following electrical issues which effectively put an end to everyone’s session.
The pitlane reopened after a two-hour lunch break, and Fabio Leimer set the early pace at the wheel of his Racing Engineering car.
While the drivers mainly focused on covering race distance, Richelmi led the timesheet, but Calado improved and edged the Monegasque driver from the top spot.
Just as Leimer reclaimed P1, Daniel De Jong stopped on track at Turn 7 causing a quick red flag. At the restart, Leimer was still sitting pretty at the top of the timesheet with Binder and Nasr in tow.
With just twenty minutes left on the clock, Dillmann put his head down and claimed P1 ahead of Leimer, Nasr, Calado, Binder, Ericsson, De Jong, Richelmi, Robin Frijns and Cecotto.