Kirchhöfer quickest on day one in Valencia

ART Grand Prix driver fastest at Circuit Ricardo Tormo

German Marvin Kirchhöfer posted the quickest time on the opening day of pre-season testing at Circuit Ricardo Tormo. The ART Grand Prix driver clocked a 1:21.098 set in the afternoon session. Campos Racing’s Alex Palou registered the fastest time in the morning test.

A cloudy morning greeted the GP3 Series paddock for day one of pre-season testing. There were two changes to the driver line-up in comparison to the Estoril test last month. Kevin Korjus returned to Koiranen GP covering for Adderly Fong who has Lotus F1 Team commitments, whilst Samin Gomez completes the Campos Racing line-up in the #25 car.

Morning session

Following the early installation laps, local driver Palou was first to set the pace. It was a quiet start to proceedings with the majority drivers choosing to remain in their garage whilst waiting for the optimum time to put their medium compound Pirelli tyres to good use. Each driver has five sets available to them during the two day test.

At the midway point Jenzer Motorsport’s Ralph Boschung led the way, a mere 0.005s quicker than the Campos Racing rookie before the Spaniard reclaimed his position at the top of the timesheet – breaking into the 1m21’s. Palou improved on his best time as the session came towards an end, whilst Esteban Ocon got the better of Kirchhöfer in the final moments of the session.

At the chequered flag behind Palou, Ocon and Kirchhöfer was Trident’s Oscar Tunjo and Luca Ghiotto. Alfonso Celis. Jr, Jann Mardenborough, Seb Morris, Kevin Ceccon and Kevin Korjus completed the top ten.

Afternoon session

Following the two hour break, Palou was the early pace setter yet again and first to lap in 1m21’s for the afternoon session. At the midway point Pal Varhaug went top with Emil Bernstorff hot on his tails. However, Ocon had other ideas and shot to the head of the timings.

As the positions swapped with 30 minutes left on the clock, Ocon, Varhaug, Jimmy Eriksson and Mardenborough were covered by just 0.093s showing how competitive the field is. Palou delivered an even better lap to return to the top of the pack, two tenths faster than the Frenchman until Kirchhöfer found some extra pace to claim P1. Ghiotto jumped up to P2, two tenths adrift of the German as the session drew to a close.

At the chequered flag it finished as Kirchhöfer, Ghiotto, Ocon, Palou, Korjus and Varhaug. Bernstorff, Tunjo, Matthew Parry and Eriksson rounded out the top ten. The top 17 drivers were separated by less than one second in a hotly fought session. The second and final day of testing in Valencia will run from 09.00 – 12.00 with a one hour break for lunch. The afternoon session will commence at 13.00 and end at 16.00 – local times apply.

Valencia: Day 1

Morning Results

 
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Alex Palou
Campos Racing
1:21.269
28
2.
Esteban Ocon
ART Grand Prix
1:21.372
24
3.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
1:21.848
25
4.
Oscar Tunjo
Trident
1:21.916
24
5.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
1:21.918
28
6.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
ART Grand Prix
1:22.017
25
7.
Jann Mardenborough
Carlin
1:22.158
18
8.
Seb Morris
Status Grand Prix
1:22.190
26
9.
Kevin Ceccon
Arden International
1:22.306
24
10.
Kevin Korjus
Koiranen GP
1:22.361
17
11.
Alex Fontana
Status Grand Prix
1:22.374
24
12.
Ralph Boschung
Jenzer Motorsport
1:22.393
38
13.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
1:22.539
22
14.
Antonio Fuoco
Carlin
1:22.553
19
15.
Emil Bernstorff
Arden International
1:22.595
19
16.
Mitchell Gilbert
Carlin
1:22.645
17
17.
Matheo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
1:22.653
37
18.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
1:22.712
32
19.
Sandy Stuvik
Status Grand Prix
1:22.833
30
20.
Matthew Parry
Koiranen GP
1:22.878
18
21.
Zaid Ashkanani
Campos Racing
1:22.880
23
22.
Artur Janosz
Trident
1:22.999
23
23.
Aleksander Bosak
Arden International
1:23.351
33
24.
Samin Gomez
Campos Racing
1:25.019
26

Afternoon Results

1.
Marvin Kirchhöfer
ART Grand Prix
1:21.098
29
2.
Luca Ghiotto
Trident
1:21.288
41
3.
Esteban Ocon
ART Grand Prix
1:21.309
35
4.
Alex Palou
Campos Racing
1:21.319
47
5.
Kevin Korjus
Koiranen GP
1:21.530
34
6.
Pal Varhaug
Jenzer Motorsport
1:21.531
34
7.
Emil Bernstorff
Arden International
1:21.532
45
8.
Oscar Tunjo
Trident
1:21.556
27
9.
Matthew Parry
Koiranen GP
1:21.580
22
10.
Jimmy Eriksson
Koiranen GP
1:21.581
26
11.
Jann Mardenborough
Carlin
1:21.604
50
12.
Alex Fontana
Status Grand Prix
1:21.642
39
13.
Alfonso Celis. Jr
ART Grand Prix
1:21.694
44
14.
Ralph Boschung
Jenzer Motorsport
1:21.876
34
15.
Seb Morris
Status Grand Prix
1:21.896
31
16.
Antonio Fuoco
Carlin
1:21.899
39
17.
Matheo Tuscher
Jenzer Motorsport
1:21.920
31
18.
Sandy Stuvik
Status Grand Prix
1:22.121
36
19.
Zaid Ashkanani
Campos Racing
1:22.184
37
20.
Kevin Ceccon
Arden Motorsport
1:22.374
42
21.
Artur Janosz
Trident
1:22.433
28
22.
Mitchell Gilbert
Carlin
1:22.989
48
23.
Aleksander Bosak
Arden International
1:23.423
33
24.
Samin Gomez
Campos Racing
1:23.969
33

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About this article
Series GP3
Event Valencia April testing
Sub-event Day 1
Track Valencia Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Drivers Pal Varhaug , Adderly Fong , Jimmy Eriksson , Alex Fontana , Oscar Tunjo , Emil Bernstorff , Kevin Korjus , Kevin Ceccon , Jann Mardenborough , Matheo Tuscher , Samin Gomez , Seb Morris , Esteban Ocon , Marvin Kirchhofer , Sandy Stuvik , Antonio Fuoco , Matthew Parry , Luca Ghiotto , Alex Palou , Artur Janosz , Ralph Boschung , Zaid Ashkanani
Article type Testing report
Tags art grand prix, campos racing, trident