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Finland’s Valtteri Bottas led the way on a wet Friday morning as GP3 hosted its first practice session of the year at Istanbul Park. At the end of the half-hour period, which ran between 8:45 and 9:15am local time, the Lotus ART driver achieved a best effort of 1:52.295, edging out The Netherlands' Nigel Melker and Britain’s Luciano Bacheta.
The additional session allowed bonus laps for a number of drivers making their debuts in the series, presented with the challenge of an already challenging circuit - made only more taxing by today’s weather.
Rio Haryanto of Indonesia was first to lead the way for Marussia Manor, the team run by the same Manor Racing behind Virgin’s Formula 1 team.
Bottas - Williams F1 reserve driver - moved ahead as the session progressed into its second half, shortly before yellow flags punctuated the action as Atech CRS newcomer Zoël Amberg came to a halt. With ten minutes remaining, Bottas led the way from Britain’s Dean Smith, Haryanto and Kiwi Mitch Evans of MW Arden.
As the end of the session neared, Columbian Gabby Chaves moved ahead for Addax; this was followed by an immediate response from Bottas, who retook the position he had held for the majority of the session. Behind, Bacheta surprised all with third, having been confirmed on the grid as a late entry.
GP3’s second practice begins at 4:50pm local time (BST +2)
ART Grand Prix
|1.||V. Bottas||Lotus ART||01:52.295||15|
|2.||N. Melker||RSC Mücke||01:52.706||15|
|3.||L. Bacheta||RSC Mücke||01:52.733||15|
|5.||M. Evans||MW Arden||01:52.819||17|
|6.||J. Calado||Lotus ART||01:52.844||17|
|9.||S. Trummer||MW Arden||01:52.971||17|
|10.||A. Caldarelli||Tech 1||01:53.123||14|
|ART Grand Prix|
|25 Apr||Daly retains seat with ART Grand Prix|
|11 Dec '12||Harvey joins GP3 Series with Lotus GP|
|8 Sep '12||Abt wins as disaster strikes for Evans|
|1 Sep '12||Abt classified winner of shortened race|
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|8 May '11||Latest GP3 photos: Sunday at Istanbul Park|
|8 May '11||Sims claims unchallenged Race 2 victory|
|7 May '11||Melker wins season-opener at Istanbul Park|
|7 May '11||Williamson handed 6-place grid penalty|
|13 Jun||Bottas keen to stay with Williams|
|9 Jun||Bottas: We still have a lot of work to do|
|8 Jun||Bottas: Second row grid slot a big boost|
|8 Jun||Webber, Bottas reprimanded by stewards|
|16 May||Three-day Abu Dhabi test for GP2 and GP3|
|3 May||Williamson gets final Bamboo seat|
|3 May||Cullen completes Marussia GP3 line-up|
|26 Apr||Bamboo signs McKee for 2013 season|
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