Jerez Day 3: Ericsson fastest
8 October 2009 – Marcus Ericsson became the third man in as many days to be the quickest driver as Jerez's testing concluded. The Swede, driving for ART Grand Prix, led the way from local favourite Dani Clos on Thursday with Switzerland's Fabio Leimer a strong third. Multiple Champion Sébastien Loeb also enjoyed his first taste of GP2.
After two sunny days in Jerez, the third and last day started on wet conditions as raindrops continuously fell onto the Spanish track for most of the three-hour morning session. Five new drivers joined the field today namely 2008 GP2 runner-up Bruno Senna returning to iSport, Chris van der Drift driving for Piquet GP, Edoardo Mortara at Telmex Arden, newcomer Jon Lancaster joining DAMS and the much anticipated five times Rally World Champion Sébastien Loeb at DPR.
In difficult track conditions, the session was briefly interrupted twice, first by Fabio Onidi at Trident following mechanical gremlins and then after Marco Bonanomi (Party Poker Racing.com SC) and van der Drift simultaneously span and stopped at two different parts of the circuit.
In a drying session, the drivers' lap times improved notably towards its latest stages and it was both Fat Burner Racing Engineering racers, Dani Clos leading Jérôme d'Ambrosio, who claimed the top spot ahead of Luiz Razia driving with Barwa Addax today.
Will Bratt (Party Poker Racing.com SC) finished the morning first rookie although newcomer Alexander Rossi at DAMS was fastest in wet conditions until fifteen minutes before the chequered flag a hydraulic pump problem ruined the American's efforts.
The sun eventually made an appearance shortly before the start of the afternoon session. However, although the track conditions seemed less tricky than in the morning, the session was still interspersed by six red flags, including one following a shunt from Mortara who lost control of his car at Turn 9 and forcing the Italian to prematurely end his testing day.
The surprise of the day came from newcomer Marcus Ericsson who, at the wheel of the ART car, signed the best lap time of the day in a 1:25.xxx. Clos, d'Ambrosio and Razia confirmed their good form again in the Top five while another impressive newcomer, Swiss Fabio Leimer at Ocean Racing, found his way to third place.
This concludes GP2 testing in Spain. Next test session will take place in Le Castellet on November 10, 11 and 12. In the meantime, the GP2 teams - minus Racing Engineering, will fly to Abu Dhabi where they will be joined by Meritus for the opening of the third GP2 Asia season. A pre-season test session will take place on October 23-24 at the Yas Marina Circuit.