Lopez sets new lap record in Paul Ricard

Argentinean José María López clocked a new lap record in the final test day for the GP2 Series at Circuit Paul Ricard Hich Tech Test Track leaving right behind him Nelson A.Piquet and Lewis Hamilton. In another journey of colder conditions...

Argentinean José María López clocked a new lap record in the final test day for the GP2 Series at Circuit Paul Ricard Hich Tech Test Track leaving right behind him Nelson A.Piquet and Lewis Hamilton.

In another journey of colder conditions than the expected with temperatures hitting a high of 13 degrees, GP2 has finished it activity in the 3.853km "3D" track solution.

At the wheel of the lead car of Super Nova International, López was able in the morning session to set an impressive 1m12s547 breaking Hamilton's record took on February of 1m12s838.

An engine blew up left López out after 16 laps in the afternoon, although with the happyness of a competitive car.

"The record lap was perfect, without traffic in the track and I drove without mistakes. Later in the afternoon I was with the intention of try to improve the time, but the engine failed. The team doesn't know yet what the problem was, but it was a big one because the oil jumped to the cockpit and burned my arm a little",commented the Argentinean.

Brazilean Piquet took the head in the final session by putting his Piquet Sports car on top with a mark of 1m12s716, but he was unable to beat López.

"I'm pleased with my times over the two days, but there is still a lot of work to do", said Piquet. "We were consistent, and luckily we managed to do some more work than the last test but we are not there yet. Hopefully we will have good reliability in the next test at Barcelona and we can do some more", he stated.

With today's work, both López and Piquet proved to be the stronguest drivers when the moment of fight against ART Grand Prix duo of Alexandre Premat and Hamilton come next April.

The ART guys had another productive day with Brit Hamilton taking third spot in the overall with a lap of 1m12s736, while his team mate Premat set 1m12s834 to put both cars in top five.

Between Hamilton and Premat appeared Andreas Zuber to confirm the strong job done during the February session with Trident Racing. The Austrian clocked 1m12s851 after he completed 63 laps in the afternoon.

Sixth position belong to another rookie with Franck Perera setting 1m12s838 taking French team DAMS back to the head places. Top ten places were completed by Hiroki Yoshimoto with the quickest BCN car, Adrian Valles -again in the right way-, Nicolas Lapierre and Luca Di Grassi.

GP2 keeps showing to be hard and competivie with 17 drivers closed by one second and the 26 cars of the field in less than two seconds.

The series will now move to Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on March 28th and 29th for another test session. López leaves France in the top, but real the battle hasn's start yet and it will surely be fantastic from the very beggining.

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nicolas Lapierre , Hiroki Yoshimoto , Jose Maria Lopez , Andreas Zuber , Franck Perera
Teams DAMS , ART Grand Prix , Trident