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A reshuffled GP2 grid took the track in Spain on Wednesday for Day 1 of this week’s Jerez test session. Switzerland’s Fabio Leimer led the way for Racing Engineering as Luca Filippi and Sam Bird, driving for Coloni and Rapax, completed the top three.
A selection of familiar faces were joined by some lesser known personalities, with GP3 Champion Valtteri Bottas – fresh from a British F3 victory at Donington on Sunday – testing for ART Grand Prix as James Calado, Nigel Melker and Nico Müller piloted the cars of Ocean Racing Technology, Arden and DAMS.
The initial installation laps saw Italian Fabio Onidi set the pace for Coloni, before eventually finishing three tenths of a second off Leimer’s best effort of 1:27.282 but still comfortably inside the top five. Also topping the timesheets during the first hour was Josef Kral, with the Czech eventually falling back to ninth place.
Swiss Müller, who finished fourth in GP3 this year, was first to leave the pits as temperatures soared in the afternoon, with Johnny Cecotto Jr. ending the day fourth quickest for Addax.
The top ten was completed by The Netherlands’ Yelmer Buurman, second Briton Jolyon Palmer, Dani Clos of Spain, the aforementioned Kral and Portugal’s António Félix da Costa. Other British representatives Adam Carroll, Max Chilton and Calado (driving for Super Nova, Carlin and Ocean) wound up in 12th, 14th and 15th positions.
GP2 testing continues at Jerez from 9am local time (BST +1) on Thursday
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