Nigel Melker leads the pack

06.05.2011: Sophomore Nigel Melker sets the quickest time in second practice at Istanbul Park for RSC Mücke Motorsport. The GP3 Series drivers took to the 5.338 km Turkish track for the second practice session of the weekend, ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying

Sophomore Nigel Melker sets the quickest time in second practice at Istanbul Park for RSC Mücke Motorsport.

The GP3 Series drivers took to the 5.338 km Turkish track for the second practice session of the weekend, ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session. Contrary to this morning’s conditions, the field had a dry but cold session on slick Pirelli tyres, and for the session it was a returnee who set the pace.

Melker dominated from the off, ahead of Status Grand Prix’s rookie Alexander Sims and Tech 1 Racing’s Aaro Vainio. Andrea Caldarelli was quick to compete for the top spot, with his efforts placing him second, but the Italian just pushed too hard and spun.

MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson briefly took the top spot, until just before the halfway point when Melker set his unbeaten laptime of 1:46.515, leaving Marussia Manor Racing’s Rio Haryanto, Williamson and Caldarelli to battle it out for second.

A brief red flag just after the halfway point was caused by a spinning Marlon Stockinger in his Atech CRS GP car. When the session resumed there was just eight minutes left on the clock, and with all the drivers hitting the track at the same time, finding clean air was a challenge.

MW Arden’s Mitch Evans was the driver to find space – the New Zealander could not catch the lead pair of Melker and Williamson, but managed the third quickest time of the afternoon ahead of Caldarelli, Haryanto, Michael Christensen, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Sims, Valtteri Bottas and Matias Laine. The top twenty-two drivers ended the session within one second, giving a clear indication that we can expect a close battle for pole tomorrow morning.

- Amanda Hunt -


06.05.2011 / MaP

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