Nelson Piquet Jr has topped this afternoon's final session, but was not able to beat Jose Maria Lopez's new lap record at Circuit Paul Ricard. Nelson Piquet Jr has once again shown he will be a force to be reckoned with this season by topping the final session of the latest GP2 series test at Circuit Paul Ricard. The Brazilian, driving for Piquet Sports, put in a 1:12.716 to head the times from the ART Grand Prix car of Lewis Hamilton. Third quickest this afternoon was Andreas Zuber for Trident Racing, giving the newest additions to the GP2 series family a big reason to smile.
Behind the top three, Hiroki Yoshimoto put in a great run after a troubled session to take fourth, ahead of the equally impressive Adrian Valles in the Campos Racing car. Yesterday's pace-setter Alex Premat could only muster sixth place this afternoon for ART Grand Prix, with his countryman Nicolas Lapierre in seventh for Arden International. Fairuz Fauzy continued his wonderful test with eighth for Super Nova International, while Adam Carroll finished ninth for Racing Engineering with Ferdinando Monfardini tenth for Dams.
But it was Jose Maria Lopez who leaves this test with the biggest smile on his face. A new lap record under his belt will give him and his Super Nova International team a great deal of pride and confidence as we leave France, destined for Spain.
The times were close once again this afternoon, with the top 18 drivers covered by just one second. With this kind of proximity, the GP2 series looks now towards its next test in Barcelona on March 28-29 with great expectations.
1 PIQUET Piquet Sports 1:12.716 38
2 HAMILTON ART Grand Prix 1:12.736 34
3 ZUBER Trident Racing 1:12.851 63
4 YOSHIMOTO BCN Competicion 1:12.888 26
5 VALLES Campos Racing 1:12.988 35
6 PREMAT ART Grand Prix 1:12.995 38
7 LAPIERRE Arden International 1:13.135 31
8 FAUZY Super Nova International 1:13.195 33
9 CARROLL Racing Engineering 1:13.243 30
10 MONFARDINI DAMS 1:13.272 40
11 AMMERMULLER Arden International 1:13.491 25
12 LOPEZ Super Nova International 1:13.528 16
13 BRUNI Trident Racing 1:13.530 54
15 PLA DPR Direxiv 1:13.540 42
16 PERERA DAMS 1:13.547 33
17 GOMMENDY iSport International 1:13.634 29
18 NEGRAO Piquet Sports 1:13.670 21
19 FILIPPI FMS International 1:13.785 39
20 HERNANDEZ Durango 1:13.834 35
22 PICCIONE DPR Direxiv 1:13.898 49
23 VISO iSport International 1:14.170 30
17.03.2006 / MaP