Nick Yelloly from Status Grand Prix quickest in opening session.
British driver Nick Yelloly led the way in the forty-five minute Free Practice session at the Silverstone circuit for the third round of the 2014 GP3 Series. The Status Grand Prix ace set the best laptime with a 1:47.504 to finish ahead of the ART Grand Prix duo of Dino Zamparelli and Marvin Kirchhöfer.
The session was run under cloudy skies with blustery conditions with Trident’s new driver Mitchell Gilbert from Australia first to take to the track. Another rookie was also making their GP3 debut, German Sebastian Balthasar driving for Hilmer Motorsport.
Riccardo Agostini was first to lap into the 1m49’s before Zamparelli went two tenths faster. At the midway point of the session, Zamparelli led Agostini, Kirchhöfer, Yelloly and Emil Bernstorff. As the drivers pitted for a new set of Pirelli rubber, Mathéo Tuscher (Jenzer Motorsport) and Jimmy Eriksson (Status Grand Prix) topped the timings before Agostini rose back up to P2.
Kirchhöfer shot to P1 lapping half a second faster than the Italian rookie until Zamparelli bettered his time, again by another half a second margin to break into the 1m47’s barrier. Marussia Manor Racing’s Dean Stoneman ran wide over the kerb on the exit of turn 15 which sent his car into a spin at high speed and the Brit made contact with the barrier. The session was red flagged as Stoneman climbed out of his car as the clock ticked down, while debris and his car was cleared away.
There were four minutes left remaining of free practice as the cars queued in the pitlane and it Yelloly who made the most of it, shooting to the head of the timesheet and ending the day on top. At the chequered flag it was Yelloly, Zamparelli, Kirchhöfer, Bernstorff, Jann Mardenborough, Alex Fontana, Patrick Kujala, Celis.Jr, Tuscher and Roman De Beer.
Qualifying takes place at 08.45 am local time tomorrow morning and with potential rain forecast– it promises to be a very important and challenging session.
Free Practice - Silverstone
Driver - Team - Laptime - Laps
1. Nick Yelloly - Status Grand Prix - 1:47.504 - 16
2. Dino Zamparelli - ART Grand Prix - 1:47.798 - 15
3. Marvin Kirchhöfer - ART Grand Prix - 1:47.934 - 16
4. Emil Bernstorff - Carlin - 1:48.137 - 15
5. Jann Mardenborough - Arden International - 1:48.199 - 14
6. Alex Fontana - ART Grand Prix - 1:48.244 - 15
7. Patrick Kujala - Marussia Manor Racing - 1:48.316 - 14
8. Alfonso Celis. Jr - Status Grand Prix - 1:48.518 - 15
9. Mathéo Tuscher - Jenzer Motorsport - 1:48.586 - 11
10. Roman De Beer - Trident - 1:48.605 - 15