Rossi Leads GP3 Test, Signaling his Intent for Championship Le Castellet, France - April 5, 2010 GP3 Series Championship returned to the southern France testing circuit, Paul Ricard, to complete the second official pre- season test this past...
Rossi Leads GP3 Test, Signaling his Intent for Championship
Le Castellet, France - April 5, 2010 GP3 Series Championship returned to the southern France testing circuit, Paul Ricard, to complete the second official pre- season test this past week. With the schedule for the two days being similar as before, with a testing session in both the morning and afternoon, it was the addition of a 30 minute qualifying shootout that would take place directly after the morning session on the second day that had everyone talking and preparing. The results of the session would serve to allocate the race numbers on the cars for the 2010 season with the fastest driver securing numbers 1, 2 & 3 for his team.
On Day 1 of the test, Rossi lapped second quickest, 1/100th of a second behind his teammate and closest rival, Gutierrez. Rossi still knowing there was more time to find, worked late with the team to find more of himself, improving car balance and delivering on Day 2.
Rossi preparing for a run in ART Grand Prix, GP3 Dallara; Image by Dawn Rossi
On Day 2, Twenty six drivers took part in the qualifying shootout. It was Alexander Rossi who once again earned the top spot and the number 1 for his Dallara Renault and also securing numbers 2 and 3 for ART Grand Prix for the 2010 GP3 Championship. Searching for clear laps on a traffic filled 3D configuration, Rossi would not be denied the top spot, posting a lap 4/10ths of a second quicker than his nearest rival and the only driver to break the 1m19s, with a time of 1:19.927.
Frederic Vasseur, ART Grand Prix, Owner and Team Principal: "After two tests with the car we've collected a lot of valuable data on the new GP3 car. We're well prepared to challenge a championship in the first year. Our drivers are very good, and from the first test last month Alexander has shown the quick pace we already knew he had. In addition, Alexander has shown his ability to adapt quickly to new surroundings. In GP3, this is quite important with the limited track time. Alexander got up to speed with a new car and new team very quickly, leading each test for us."
Alexander Rossi: "Having the opportunity to drive for ART makes my job as a racing driver that much easier. At the end of each test we are able to look back at an exponential curve in terms of improving the car and driving styles. From the moment that I began working with this team it has been all about maximizing opportunities to achieve victories and at this point, I feel that we are on the right track. There is always more to find, but day by day we are checking the boxes and this gives me incredible confidence for the season."
Returning to the circuit Thursday afternoon, the drivers were fast at it again, as another top spot on the timesheets was to be claimed. Alexander Rossi battled it out with teammate Esteban Gutierrez to retain the number one position, with Rossi posting a time of 1:20.784 and Gutierrez a close 2nd at 1:20.873.
Alexander Rossi: "Esteban and I have been competitors for quite some time and we have a lot of experience racing each other. He is quick and has the same equipment, so he is most definitely my closest my competitor this year and this has been proved at the last two tests. We push each other very hard on and off track, but are still able to have a good relationship inside the team. The atmosphere within ART is really good right now and I look forward to building on this at the next test in Barcelona."
Up next for Rossi, the 3rd and final official GP3 test at Circuit Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain - April 13 and 14.
-source: alexander rossi