Giedo van der Garde quickest on Day 2
Barwa Addax driver sets best laptime of 1:48.499 in Abu Dhabi
It was a slow start to the second day of GP2 Asia Series pre-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit as teams and drivers were greeted by fog, delaying the session by one hour. When the sun came out, so did the drivers for their installation laps. James Jakes at Scuderia Coloni opted for a first run setting the early pace but it was soon bettered first by Andrea Caldarelli at Ocean Racing and then by Romain Grosjean at Dams. The Frenchman stayed at the top of the timesheet until his fellow countryman Jules Bianchi improved his best laptime by eight tenths. The Lotus ART racer went three tenths even quicker just as Davide Valsecchi at Team AirAsia moved up to P2. Addax's Giedo van der Garde went top temporarily until Bianchi set his fastest laptime of the morning session in a 1:50.007. No one else could match that time although the top 14 drivers ended up within the same second, with Sam Bird entering the Top 3 after a difficult first test day yesterday due to mechanical gremlins. The morning session was briefly red flagged three times.
With just a hour break, the track activity restarted quickly - Charles Pic at Addax set the early pace with Rapax's Julian Leal and Coloni's Michael Herck in tow. Just before the halfway point of the session, Bird went under the 1m50s barrier taking control of the timesheet ahead of Grosjean and van der Garde. But the Brit was soon caught by Grosjean, Trident's duo Stefano Coletti and Rodolfo Gonzalez, and Pic who pushed Bird back to P5. The iSport ace lost another spot when Valsecchi improved and moved up to P3.
On the two hour mark Josef Kral at Arden went top but not for long as van der Garde went under the 1m49s barrier with a laptime of 1:48.499 -- one tenth quicker than Oliver Turvey's pole position during GP2 Series 2010 final round in Abu Dhabi. The Dutchman was soon matched but not beaten by Bird and Bianchi who both went under 1m49s barrier. The session was cut 15 minutes short after Jakes went off track and damaged the barrier, making it impossible for the rest of the drivers to take advantage of their new set of tyres.
The action will continue in two days time on Sunday, February 6th at 9am local time for another two-day test session.