Status Grand Prix driver Alexander Sims set the fastest time in the final session of the opening GP3 Series official test at the Paul Ricard HTTT circuit in France today.

Overall it's been a very good test for all our three drivers, and we've covered our complete development programme and more.

Status GP team manager Simon Cayzer

The 22-year-old Gravity Sport-backed driver set his time of 1m20.898s on his third lap of the dry afternoon session, and the mark was not bettered during the remainder of the three-hour session. The time was just 0.002sec shy of the fastest lap of the day, set by Jenzer Motorsport's Nico Muller in the morning session.

Antonio Felix da Costa was also among the leading group throughout, ending the afternoon with the fourth fastest time just 0.23sec behind his Status GP team-mate. The Portuguese star had been the fastest Status GP driver in the morning session, when he was ranked fifth overall, and he improved by another 0.03sec in the afternoon.

The performance ended a strong opening test of the 2011 GP3 Series campaign by the Status GP team, with Sims and Felix da Costa having been the fastest two drivers in the mainly wet conditions yesterday.

Marussia Motors development driver Ivan Lukashevich had also enjoyed a very strong Day 1 showing, being second quickest in yesterday's afternoon session. However, a technical problem during Friday's morning session limited his track time, and although the 19-year-old Russian made good progress in the afternoon he ended the session classified 22nd in the time sheets with a lap 1.36sec off Sims' benchmark.

Status GP team manager Simon Cayzer said: "Overall it's been a very good test for all our three drivers, and we've covered our complete development programme and more. To be at the front is an encouraging start, but it's also clear the series is going to be hugely competitive this year and we'll be working hard run-up to the next test at Silverstone in three weeks' time."

Day 2 Afternoon Lap Times
Alexander Sims (GB): Best time: 1m20.898s; Position: 1st
Antonio Felix da Costa (P): Best time: 1m21.128s, +0.23s; Position: 4th