GP3 Series headed to Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain for the final pre-season test ahead of Round 1 in Barcelona on 13th – 14th May.
The final pre-season test session got underway in glorious warm and sunny conditions. The first hour was focused on installation runs and preparing the cars. The team stuck to their program of maximising track time, whilst making the neccessary developments to car setup biased to race-pace and tyre management. Lower fuel runs were trialled near the end of the session, but qualifying simulations were not on the agenda for today.
Day 1, Morning Session Results:
P12 – Schothorst (1:21.715)
P13 – Pulcini (1:21.781)
P17 – Kari (1:22.076)
The afternoon session saw temperatures rise, and Niko kari lead the way in the first part of the session. The session was shortly paused due to red flags. After the session
restarted for the second time, the cars went back out on track with ten minutes remaining to clock in the final few laps of essential running - prior to the final day of pre-season testing.
Day 1, Afternoon Session Results:
P6 - Pulcini (1:21.951)
P8 - Kari (1:22.206)
P9 - Schothorst (1:22.286)
For the final day of pre-season testing, Arden driver Leonardo Pulcini take the morning honours. The cars ran qualifying-style laps for a portion of the session. The young Italian claimed the top spot in the first 45 minutes, and was unbeaten. As the weathers turned, the team were greeted with showers and limited running was made throughout the grid - as only a few short stints by each team were made on the wet and intermediate tyres, knowing the track would soon dry out. The sunshine appeared for the green light.
At the half hour mark, Pulcini was tipped from the top spot, but not for long – he went out on another run to reclaim the top spot, as he went a tenth faster to claim the morning honours.
Day 2, Morning Session Results:
P1 - Pulcini (1:21.233)
P9 - Kari (1:21.594)
P16 - Schothorst (1:21.884)
After the one hour lunch break, the team went back out on track, focusing the afternoon session mainly on more long distance simulations and maximising the amount of data from each of the three cars.
Day 2, Afternoon Session Results:
P9 – Pulcini (1:23.805)
P10 – Kari (1:23.977)
P12 – Schothorst (1:24.004)
The opening round of the 2017 GP3 Series will take place at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 13th – 14th May, as a support race to the Formula One World Championship. Both the Arden GP3 and FIA F2 teams will be competing for top honours in Barcelona.