Lotus GP’s Aaro Vainio quickest in day two of testing in Portugal.
Finnish driver Aaro Vainio ended the first official GP3 Series pre-season Test as fastest man on day two in Estoril. His best laptime was one second quicker than the benchmark set by Nico Muller yesterday. Vainio had been within the top four quickest drivers on day one and continued his good form into the second day. After heading the morning timesheets, Vanio remained unchallenged for the rest of the day.
It was another glorious day at the Circuito do Estoril for the second and final day of testing for GP3 Series. The early morning pace setter was Mitch Evans, until Vainio claimed control of the session after around thirty minutes. The Finn remained top of the standings. Seven drivers broke into the 1’30s barrier, making a significant improvement on the times set on day one.
Antonio Felix Da Costa was hot on the tails of Vainio’s best efforts and was closely followed by Evans and Conor Daly. Cypriot driver Tio Ellinas then produced a fine effort to shoot up to second fastest and the Marussia Manor Racing star maintained his second quickest time, less than a tenth behind the Lotus GP driver.
Hungarian Tamas Pal Kiss repeated his day one form with the sixth fastest lap, whilst Patric Niederhauser made massive steps from his best of 16th on day one, to seventh at the close of the morning session. All three Jenzer Motorsport drivers completed times within the top ten, with Mathéo Tuscher the 15 year old, again impressing with the eighth fastest lap ahead of Robert Visoiu in tenth. German driver Daniel Abt in the Lotus GP split the Jenzer Motorsport drivers posting the ninth fastest time.
The session was briefly red flagged twice when new recruit to GP3 Series, Vicky Piria, spun and stopped on the circuit after testing the limits whilst getting to grips with her second time testing for Trident Racing.
The afternoon session was eerily quiet for the first hour and then the action began to hot up. Matias Laine took control and was joined by Da Costa at the top of the timesheets. Micki Weckstrom then snuck into second position. Within the last hour Ellinas jumped from third to first while Swiss driver Niederhauser progressed to second.
Da Costa was third with Marlon Stockinger for Status Grand Prix in fourth. Laine, Kiss and Weckstrom were next in fifth, sixth and seventh. Italian David Fumanelli was eighth fastest ahead of Evans and Nico Müller. Times were around a second slower compared to the morning session.
The next test session will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona 12-13th March 2012.