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PIERRE GASLY ENDS ON TOP ON DAY 3

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PREMA Racing’s driver quickest in morning session

Red Bull protégé Pierre Gasly concluded this week’s pre-season testing on top of the timesheets: he lapped the Spanish track in an impressive laptime of 1:27.386 during this morning’s session ahead of Norman Nato and Antonio Giovinazzi. Rapax driver Gustav Malja was quickest in the afternoon session.

Day 3 opened this morning under blue skies with cold temperatures. When the pitlane turned green, Status Grand Prix’s Meindert van Buuren was the first man to feed onto the track on Hard Pirelli tyres. In the opening stages, Danïel de Jong set the early pace in a 1:30.121 but Nicholas Latifi was the first man to dip under 1m30s to take the top honours.

Forty minutes into the session, Sergey Sirotkin improved on the Canadian’s time to go P1. However, Nato topped the timesheet with a laptime of 1:28.170 – +0.070s ahead of Russian Sirotkin. After one hour, DAMS’ Alex Lynn broke the 1m28s barrier on Soft Pirelli tyres and lapped the Spanish track in a 1:27.841.

Just before mid-session, there was a short red flag period courtesy of Sirtokin who span into the gravel bed at the end of the main straight. At the restart, Gasly improved on his personal best set yesterday and clocked in a laptime of 1:27.386, also on Soft tyres. Nato reduced the gap enough to edge Giovinazzi out of P2 – two tenth slower than Gasly.

Soon after, Giovinazzi caused a second red flag period after he stopped at the entrance of Turn 4. The remainder of the session was trouble-free and Gasly remained unchallenged until the chequered flag. Behind the Frenchman, Nato, Giovinazzi, Lynn, Luca Ghiotto, De Jong, Mitch Evans, Latifi, Jordan King and Sirotkin rounded out the top ten.

In the afternoon, Raffaele Marciello was first out on track. Arthur Pic set the early pace in a 1:29.941 on Prime tyres. One hour into the session, the proceedings were halted for a third time following small contact between Marciello and Rene Binder.

The final hours of testing were studious with drivers completing long runs and teams working on pit stop practice. In the closing stages, Markelov went quickest in a 1:29.425 ahead of Pic. Fifteen minutes before the end of the session, van Buuren stopped at Turn 12 causing one last red flag period. In the dying minutes, Malja put his head down to clock in a laptime of 1:28.719, which was enough to go top. Fellow countryman Jimmy Eriksson also found some extra pace to edge Markelov out of P2.

At the chequered flag, behind the Swedish pair of Malja and Eriksson, Markelov, Oliver Rowland, Sergio Canamasas, Pic, van Buuren, Nabil Jeffri, Lynn and Binder completed the top ten.

This concludes the first 2016 pre-season test session at Barcelona. Next stop will be Jerez de la Frontera on March 29-30-31.

Morning results

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Pierre Gasly

PREMA Racing

1:27.386

41

2.

Norman Nato

Racing Engineering

1:27.630

29

3.

Antonio Giovinazzi

PREMA Racing

1:27.755

33

4.

Alex Lynn

DAMS

1:27.841

22

5.

Luca Ghiotto

Trident

1:27.884

39

6.

Danïel de Jong

MP Motorsport

1:27.977

25

7.

Mitch Evans

Jagonya Ayam Campos Racing

1:28.022

30

8.

Nicholas Latifi

DAMS

1:28.067

26

9.

Jordan King

Racing Engineering

1:28.122

32

10.

Sergey Sirotkin

ART Grand Prix

1:28.122

20

11.

Arthur Pic

Rapax

1:28.150

34

12.

Rene Binder

Carlin

1:28.240

19

13.

Raffaele Marciello

RUSSIAN TIME

1:28.296

35

14.

Gustav Malja

Carlin

1:28.335

35

15.

Oliver Rowland

MP Motorsport

1:28.421

33

16.

Sergio Canamasas

Status Grand Prix

1:28.491

35

17.

Artem Markelov

RUSSIAN TIME

1:28.599

12

18.

Marvin Kirchhöfer

Carlin

1:28.744

39

19.

Nobuharu Matsushita

ART Grand Prix

1:28.871

32

20.

Jimmy Eriksson

Arden International

1:29.433

32

21.

Philo Paz Armand

Trident

1:29.450

39

22.

Nabil Jeffri

Arden International

1:29.662

39

23.

Sean Gelael

Jagonya Ayam Campos Racing

1:29.755

39

24.

Meindert van Buuren

Status Grand Prix

1:30.007

29

Afternoon results

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1.

Gustav Malja

Rapax

1:28.719

40

2.

Jimmy Eriksson

Arden International

1:29.263

31

3.

Artem Markelov

RUSSIAN TIME

1:29.425

19

4.

Oliver Rowland

MP Motorsport

1:29.474

34

5.

Sergio Canamasas

Status Grand Prix

1:29.586

34

6.

Arthur Pic

Rapax

1:29.678

30

7.

Meindert van Buuren

Status Grand Prix

1:30.555

25

8.

Nabil Jeffri

Arden International

1:31.845

32

9.

Alex Lynn

DAMS

1:32.723

50

10.

Rene Binder

Carlin

1:32.779

45

11.

Luca Ghiotto

Trident

1:32.836

33

12.

Pierre Gasly

PREMA Racing

1:33.062

49

13.

Danïel de Jong

MP Motorsport

1:33.249

40

14.

Marvin Kirchhöfer

Carlin

1:33.317

40

15.

Sergey Sirotkin

ART Grand Prix

1:33.534

55

16.

Mitch Evans

Jagonya Ayam Campos Racing

1:33.596

43

17.

Sean Gelael

Jagonya Ayam Campos Racing

1:33.616

47

18.

Antonio Giovinazzi

PREMA Racing

1:33.669

48

19.

Philo Paz Armand

Trident

1:33.695

41

20.

Nicholas Latifi

DAMS

1:33.883

44

21.

Norman Nato

Racing Engineering

1:33.968

39

22.

Jordan King

Racing Engineering

1:34.247

51

23.

Raffaele Marciello

RUSSIAN TIME

1:34.296

19

24.

Nobuharu Matsushita

ART Grand Prix

1:34.331

44

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