Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas fastest in Germany
Round 5 of the GP3 Series got underway in Hockenheim as Free Practice was run in the early evening, making a change for the drivers who normally take to the track early on Friday. After the rain had bucketed down throughout the day, the track was declared wet for practice. Alice Powell was the first driver to venture onto the circuit as only a few drivers attempted tentative laps in early part of the session.
With a few drivers circulating on wets, most drivers waited patiently in the pits as the track was in the tricky state of not wet or dry. After 15 minutes, the slicks went on and the action began! Marussia Manor Racing’s Dmitry Suranovich was the first driver to set the pace, however it was short lived when practice was stopped due to a power failure. This caused a short delay while the drivers returned to the pits. 17 minutes, 56 seconds were left on the clock as the time was stopped but once the session was resumed, 15 minutes were left for the drivers to do battle! Mitch Evans was fastest at this point from William Buller, Suranovich, Marlon Stockinger and Alex Brundle.
Once the track became live, the times tumbled as positions at the top swapped every 30 seconds with purple sectors being set. Antonio Felix Da Costa went P1 with 10 minutes remaining until Ellinas went quicker. Patric Niederhauser had a brief spell on top until Ellinas reclaimed his position back. With several drivers spinning in the final moments, yellow flags were aplenty with lots of traffic for the drivers to contend with. As the chequered flag came out, Ellinas stayed P1, ahead of Vainio and Felix Da Costa until a late charge from David Fumanelli changed the order, as the Italian rose to P2.
The final ten finished as Ellinas, Fumanelli, Vainio, Felix Da Costa, Niederhauser, Daniel Abt, Evans, Conor Daly, Tamas Pal Kiss and Buller.
Qualifying takes place tomorrow morning (Saturday) at 09.45 CET.