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GP2 - Nobuharu Matsushita tops first day in Barcelona

Japanese heads afternoon session on first day of test


13 March 2017 - 18h17, by Olivier Ferret 

Nobuharu Matsushita claimed the first day honours after topping this afternoon’s FIA Formula 2 Championship pre-season test in Barcelona, stopping the clock halfway through the session with a time of 1:29.061 to lead ART Grand Prix teammate Alexander Albon and Norman Nato, who both finished on the same time, by just under a tenth and top this morning’s best time set by Johnny Cecotto by almost two tenths.

The sun came out for this afternoon’s 3 hour session, with Sean Gelael the first driver to set a competitive time as the teams finished their installation work a third of the way through the session. Matsushita grabbed the top spot at the 1hr20 mark and was never displaced, despite some strong work from Albon, Gustav Malja, Charles Leclerc, Cecotto and finally Nato as the clock wound down to zero.

The Japanese driver had time to practice pitstops with his team in the closing minutes of the session as his rivals tried in vain to top his times, with most conceding defeat and joining him in the pits over the closing minutes. The sunny conditions contrasted with this morning’s gloomier weather, when the test opened to overcast but dry conditions as the teams worked on their set ups before heading out on track.

Jordan King and Luca Ghiotto were the early targets with Oliver Rowland looking like he would claim the honours late in the session, before a last lap by Cecotto grabbed the morning’s top spot with a time of 1:29.239, ahead of Rowland and Matsushita. The Japanese driver will be quietly happy with his first day’s work, but his rivals will be looking to rain on his parade when action restarts tomorrow morning.

Morning results

PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1. Johnny Cecotto Rapax 1:29.239 11
2. Oliver Rowland DAMS 1:29.355 13
3. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:29.552 18
4. Nyck De Vries Rapax 1:29.625 11
5. Norman Nato Pertamina Arden 1:29.674 10
6. Luca Ghiotto RUSSIAN TIME 1:29.727 18
7. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:29.743 13
8. Charles Leclerc PREMA Racing 1:29.928 21
9. Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 1:30.018 18
10. Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden 1:30.162 10
11. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:30.188 12
12. Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 1:30.365 16
13. Antonio Fuoco PREMA Racing 1:30.433 24
14. Jordan King MP Motorsport 1:30.672 17
15. Sergio Canamasas Trident 1:30.901 17
16. Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1:30.992 16
17. Sergio Sette Camara MP Motorsport 1:31.072 10
18. Nabil Jeffri Trident 1:31.230 13
19. Roberto Merhi Campos Racing 1:31.470 14
20. Louis Delétraz Racing Engineering 1:31.591 17

Afternoon results

PosDriverTeamTimeLaps
1. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1:29.061 43
2. Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 1:29.157 42
3. Norman Nato Pertamina Arden 1:29.157 28
4. Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 1:29.230 29
5. Johnny Cecotto Rapax 1:29.356 27
6. Louis Delétraz Racing Engineering 1:29.699 31
7. Oliver Rowland DAMS 1:29.725 24
8. Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1:29.750 27
9. Charles Leclerc PREMA Racing 1:29.756 30
10. Luca Ghiotto RUSSIAN TIME 1:29.976 28
11. Nicholas Latifi DAMS 1:30.113 26
12. Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden 1:30.160 32
13. Sergio Sette Camara MP Motorsport 1:30.278 26
14. Sergio Canamasas Trident 1:30.297 20
15. Jordan King MP Motorsport 1:30.330 22
16. Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1:30.470 27
17. Nyck De Vries Rapax 1:30.475 34
18. Antonio Fuoco PREMA Racing 1:30.671 21
19. Roberto Merhi Campos Racing 1:31.697 17
20. Nabil Jeffri Trident 1:32.113 22


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