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April 20, 2017

Consistent progress for Arden GP3 team at Barcelona test

GP3 trio make further progress as the pre-season testing ramps up in preparation for the opening round.

Arden GP3 Drivers Niko Kari, Leonardo Pulcini and Steijn Schothorst sign off further progress at the second pre-season test of the 2017 GP3 Season at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The morning session was unexpectedly cold and wet, with no meaningful running for the first half of the session. It was only around the second hour that drivers were switching to slicks and setting competitive times:. Two hours into the session, the drivers switched onto slicks as the track dried out, and started to set competitive lap times. In the final hour, the drivers made up for the lost running time earlier on in the session due to the wet weather, and Kari set the pace with a 1:35.367, with 45 minutes left on the clock. At the end of the session, Kari was beaten by three tenths for the top spot.

Day 1, Morning Session Results:

P2 – Kari (1:34.522), P5 – Pulcini (1:34.828), P12 – Schothorst (1:35.330)

After lunch, the sunshine returned for the afternoon session, allowing the cars to get more runs in better conditions, but the session was marred by a number of red flag periods. At the 30 minute mark, Kari’s car stopped on turn 4 due to mechanical gremlins, which bought out a red flag. One hour passed, Pulcini pulled over at turn 6, bringing out the second red flag of the session. When Pulcini returned to the pits, he was found to be underweight; therefore, his times for the session were deleted.

Day 1, Afternoon Session Results:

P13 – Kari (1:35.448), P16 – Schothorst (1:35.884), NC – Pulcini

The second day in Barcelona was the perfect conditions for what would be a practice qualifying session. All cars were out on track as soon as the pit lane went green, and Kari was one of those that spent time in P1. Times continued to tumble in a session that saw many qualifying simulations, alongside a few drivers testing differing setups and short run pace.
A late red flag came out towards the end of the session as Schothorst’s car stopped in turn 5, where the session was concluded for the morning.

Day 2, Morning Session Results:

P5 – Kari (1:33.303), P11 – Pulcini (1:33.593), P18 – Schothorst (1:34.141)

As the afternoon session got underway, the sunshine had warmed up the track to give more representative running for conditions that will be more relatable to those that the teams and drivers will experience at the opening round of the season in three weeks time. The drivers mainly concentrated on race distances, but these were marred by the session was stopped briefly by two red flags.

Day 2, Afternoon Session Results:

P10 – Kari (1:36.928), P11 – Pulcini (1:36.987), P12 – Schothorst (1:37.147)

The team completed their programme at Barcelona, having focused on further car development and providing the engineers with a huge amount of data which will be analysed and processed ready for the next test, as well as forming the baseline for the car setup when GP3 returns here for the first round of the season,

GP3 will next head to Valencia for the penultimate test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo,Valencia on 25-26 April - as Arden Motorsport prepare for the season opener on 13th-14th May in Barcelona, Spain.

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