Sainz sets the pace in Free Practice in Silverstone

MW Arden’s Carlos Sainz fastest in opening session as the the dark clouds carried a fine mist of the rain onto the Silverstone circuit.

Sainz sets the pace in Free Practice in Silverstone

Spaniard Carlos Sainz started his Silverstone weekend in the best possible style by topping the timesheets in Free Practice for Round 3 of the 2013 GP3 Series season. Local favourites Lewis Williamson (Bamboo Engineering) and Nick Yelloly (Carlin) finished second and third.

After heavy rain had fallen throughout the day, the skies were clear when the 45 minute session got underway with only fine drizzle in the air. The 27 cars took to the track to test out the conditions with Koiranen GP’s Kevin Korjus leading the pack.

Williamson and Sainz were first to head the standings until Adderly Fong (Status Grand Prix) continued to light the timing screens in purple for a succession of laps as he improved on his time to hold P1. ART Grand Prix’s Jack Harvey was close in pursuit, shooting to P2 before having a minor run-off after his hot lap.

Yelloly flew to the top of the timesheets, the first driver into the 1m51s barrier at the midway point of the session before fellow Brit’ Williamson demoted him down a position. Series leader Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) was caught out by the track conditions and had a 360 degree spin but was able to continue. His teammate Ryan Cullen also had a brief excursion off track as the circuit began to dry out. Jenzer Motorsport’s Samin Gomez stopped on the circut and had a premature end to her practice session.

With seven Brits in the 2013 GP3 line-up, it was Harvey’s turn to clock the quickest lap, until his teammates’ Conor Daly and Facu Regalia went P1 and P2. Williamson became the first driver to lap in the 1m47s but it was Sainz who went one better in the final minutes to record a laptime of 1:47.432 which was yet to beaten before the chequered flag came out.

Williamson ended the session second, ahead of Yelloly, Daniil Kvyat (MW Arden, Daly, Melville McKee (Bamboo Engineering), Ellinas, Dino Zamparelli (Marussia Manor Racing), Alex Fontana (Jenzer Motorsport) and Regalia.

Qualifying takes place at 08.45 GMT tomorrow morning with the weather forecast suggesting for drier, warmer conditions. Let’s see what Silverstone brings us for the rest of the weekend!

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