Rossi makes it three out of four
Today marked the conclusion of the first ever GP3 Series test in Le Castellet, and the mood in the paddock as the teams began packing away was a positive one after two days of hard work.
The on track action was non-stop during the final three hours, with top honours eventually claimed by ART's Alexander Rossi. He topped the time sheets in three out of the four sessions at Circuit Paul Ricard, an impressive display by the young American who set a final best of 1:20.013.
Rounding out the top three were yesterday afternoon's quickest man and Rossi's teammate Esteban Gutierrez, followed by Carlin's Max Chilton. The three drivers were separated by just 2 tenths of a second, while the top twelve runners were all within 1 second of each other.
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal ART: "This has been a really positive first test session for us, but also for GP3 in general. Our cars have been consistently reliable throughout the two days, and we have covered a significant amount of kilometres, gathering invaluable data to move forward. After watching the cars on track these past two days I think it's safe to say that we have a great season of racing ahead of us."
Trevor Carlin, Team Principal Carlin: "It's been a really encouraging first step for us in the GP3 Series. We've been very impressed with the car; GP3, Dallara and all technical partners have done a fantastic job. All the feedback from our drivers has been positive; the car is very well balanced with a lot of high speed grip and is very driveable."
Andreas Jenzer, Team principal Jenzer: ""The drivers were all very happy with the new GP3 car and I believe we have a great car that will be a great driver training tool for those working towards GP2 and F1. It was good to get on track, and we have been impressed by the high standards and professionalism of GP3. With such a new project we were very pleased with the reliability of the car, which lead us to be able to complete our demanding test schedule. It responded well to the changes, and the different Pirelli tyre compounds will make certain of exciting racing."
Bruno Michel, GP3 Series Organiser: "Obviously, I can only be very pleased with how this first official test went: the reliability of the cars has been stellar with an impressive 13,300 kms covered in only two days. This could not have been achieved without the tremendous support of Dallara, Pirelli, Hewland and Oreca. We have definitely started on the right foot: teams and drivers alike have expressed their satisfaction with their first taste of GP3.
On top of the exceptional reliability, the performance of the cars is also already very close to what we can expect during the season. It is nice to see that on the second day, at least ten drivers were closely fighting for the top spot. These young guns look set for an exciting season and we can expect to witness some great racing."
For the next official 2010 GP3 test the Series will be back at Paul Ricard on March 31st April 01st.
-source: gp3 series