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Britain’s James Jakes set the pace for Coloni on Tuesday - the first of four days for GP2’s post-season test session in Abu Dhabi this week. With the series having returned to the scene of its championship-ending races two weekends ago, the Yorkshireman led the way as a selection of drivers piloted a GP2 car for the first time.
24 cars took to the Middle Eastern circuit today, with six of the drivers stepping up from GP3 including title winner Esteban Gutiérrez, who remained with his ART Grand Prix team; like Monaco’s Stefano Coletti at Trident, the Mexican has already been confirmed as a race driver for the 2011 season.
Fresh from his Formula 1 test with Lotus, Rodolfo González’s Racing Engineering car was the first out on-track although the Barwa Addax of Charles Pic was the early pace-setter.
It wasn’t until the afternoon phase before Jakes progressed to the sharp end of the timesheets, although he was momentarily demoted as Michael Herck posted a quicker lap time at what is the final GP2 test for David Price Racing.
Four stoppages briefly halted the action as the day progressed, with red flags flying for short amounts of time due to harmless spins on the circuit.
For British honours, other notable names in attendance were Formula 2 championship runner-up Jolyon Palmer for iSport and the more familiar Sam Bird who, despite contesting the 2010 GP2 season with ART, toured with Ocean Racing Technology on this occasion.
The Yas Marina track action continues on Wednesday
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