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Arden’s Josef Kral led the way as the 2011 GP2 Asia Series was launched in Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon. Atop the timesheets in practice at Yas Marina, the Czech finished the session ahead of new Team AirAsia’s Davide Valsecchi and the Lotus ART of Jules Bianchi.
The session picked up quickly, with the lap times improving gradually until Kral set the early pace seven minutes into the session ahead of Rapax’s Fabio Leimer, iSport’s Sam Bird and Lotus ART’s Esteban Gutiérrez.
Bird put together a good lap and improved enough to take top spot, but that was just temporary. On the same lap, Kral lit all sectors green and set up the best lap time of the session - in spite of their best efforts, no-one could match the Arden racer’s pace.
At mid-session, Jules Bianchi at Lotus ART moved up to P2, with Valsecchi in tow, the Italian proving once more that his new team Team AirAsia is on good form for their GP2 debut.
In the final minutes, Valsecchi improved and edged Bianchi out of second spot, but at the chequered flag Kral remained the fastest man of the session and a clear contender for this afternoon’s pole position.
Qualifying begins at 5:25pm local time (GMT +4)
GP2 Asia Series
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