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Following GP3 and Formula 1 track action, it was GP2’s turn to take centre stage at a wet Istanbul Park on Friday. Following the series’ only half-hour practice session of the weekend, German Christian Vietoris led the way for Racing Engineering as Asia Champion Romain Grosjean and Giedo van der Garde completed the top three.
With a best registered lap time of 1:43.399, the leading margin was over two tenths of a second. However, the conditions ensure that no dry running time has been managed ahead of this afternoon’s first qualifying session of the 2011 campaign.
Practice was broken up by one red flag, with reigning GP3 Champion and Sauber F1 reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez suffering a sizeable accident at Turn 9 which left his car with much damage, in the middle of the track and at the bottom of the timesheets. To sub salt into the Lotus ART wounds, team-mate Jules Bianchi then suffered a similar accident in the same place, but sustaining less damage.
Behind the top three, Bianchi’s best time was good enough for fourth spot as Carlin’s Max Chilton led the way for British honours in fifth. There a number of spins as the field struggled to find the limit with the soaking wet surface.
Qualifying begins at 3:55pm local time (BST +2)
|1.||C. Vietoris||Racing Engin.||01:43.399||12|
|3.||G. van der Garde||Barwa Addax||01:43.992||12|
|4.||J. Bianchi||Lotus ART||01:44.697||11|
|6.||D. Clos||Racing Engin.||01:44.811||7|
|8.||L. Filippi||Super Nova||01:45.135||11|
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