Carlin duo of Alex Lynn and Emil Bernstorff quickest in opening session.
GP3 Series leader Alex Lynn topped the forty-five minute Free Practice session in Spielberg, Austria. His fellow Carlin rookie teammate Emil Bernstorff finished second fastest ahead of Nick Yelloly (Status Grand Prix).
The Red Bull Ring is a brand new venue on the GP3 calendar with the majority of drivers making their debut on the circuit. The session commenced under threatening skies after some light rain had fell earlier in the day. Arden International’s Robert Visoiu and Richie Stanaway (Status Grand Prix) were first to lead the drivers onto the track.
Lynn held top spot on the timesheet – lapping in the 1m22’s early on but after ten minutes into the session, it was red flagged following an incident for Trident’s Roman De Beer. The South African rookie ran wide over the kerb on the last corner which sent his car straight across the start/finish line – resulting in light contact with the wall. De Beer was uninjured and climbed out of his car as the clock ticked down while his machine was recovered.
Stanaway rose to P1 once the session resumed but it was only for a few seconds as Lynn improved on the Kiwi’s time. With around fifteen minutes remaining, the drivers returned to pitlane for a fresh set of Pirelli rubber. Bernstorff shot to P2, a mere 0.032s off his teammate and the duo became locked into a battle to see who would end up heading the timings.
The Carlin pair switched positions at least three times in the final moments but it was Barcelona race winner Lynn who set a flier to become the only driver to lap in the 1m20s, with a half a second advantage over his next competitor: Bernstorff.
Yelloly clocked the third quickest time in Free Practice ahead of Santiago Urrutia, debutant Riccardo Agostini with Hilmer Motorsport, Nelson Mason, Patrick Kujala, Visoiu, Alfonso Celis. Jr and Dino Zamparelli.
Qualifying takes place at 09.45 am local time tomorrow morning, with changeable conditions likely – it promises to be a very important session.
Driver - Team - Laptime - Laps
1. Alex Lynn - Carlin - 1:20.583 - 22
2. Emil Bernstorff - Carlin - 1:21.125 - 22
3. Nick Yelloly - Status Grand Prix - 1:21.132 - 21
4. Santiago Urrutia - Koiranen GP - 1:21.287 - 18
5. Riccardo Agostini - Hilmer Motorsport - 1:21.351 - 20
6. Nelson Mason - Hilmer Motorsport - 1:21.371 - 23
7. Patrick Kujala - Marussia Manor Racing - 1:21.390 - 22
8. Robert Visoiu - Arden International - 1:21.411 - 21
9. Alfonso Celis. Jr - Status Grand Prix - 1:21.460 - 22
10. Dino Zamparelli - ART Grand Prix - 1:21.473 - 20