GP3 News: Fuoco fastest on day one in Estoril

GP3 LogoCarlin’s Antonio Fuoco quickest in Portuguese pre-season testing

Ferrari Academy Driver Antonio Fuoco recorded the best laptime on day one of pre-season testing in Estoril. The Italian’s fastest lap was 1:28.410 around the Portuguese track. ART Grand Prix’s Marvin Kirchhöfer and Arden International’s Emil Bernstorff completed the top three times and were covered by just 0.023s in a closely fought afternoon session. Colombian debutant Oscar Tunjo set the pace in the morning test for Trident.

After heavy rain had fallen overnight, the track was very damp meaning a quiet start to proceedings. Once the drivers set their installation laps it was a case of waiting for the circuit to dry. With one hour left on the clock, Sandy Stuvik from Status Grand Prix was the first driver to brave running on the slick Pirelli tyre and he jumped to P1. Jenzer Motorsport’s rookie Ralph Boschung was next to head the timesheet as the teams faced the tricky dilemma of whether to run on track with dark clouds looming. Pirelli supplied the teams with five sets of Medium compounds for this test.

As the clock ticked down, the track became busier as the drivers began their slick tyre runs and the times tumbled. Alex Fontana (Status Grand Prix) was the first driver to break into the 1m29’s, lapping four tenths faster than newly signed Carlin driver Jann Mardenborough. There was a short stoppage when Seb Morris spun at Turn 4 but the Brit was able to continue in the session.

With ten minutes remaining, Tunjo posted a laptime of 1:29.061 to go top with his teammate Luca Ghiotto up to third. There was a red flag in the final moments when Zaid Ashkanani (Campos Racing) spun into the gravel at Turn 13.

That marked the end of the morning test as the teams and drivers had a two hour break before the afternoon session commenced. Tunjo topped the times ahead of Fontana, Ghiotto, Mardenborough, Jimmy Eriksson, Esteban Ocon, Mitchell Gilbert, Bernstorff, Ralph Boschung and Kirchhöfer.

Fuoco was first to lap in the 1m29’s in the afternoon session before Mardenborough broke into the 1m28s bracket, closely followed by Kirchhöfer. The German brought out the third red flag of the day after stopping at Turn 5. There was another brief stop when Artur Janosz spun his Trident machine.

Fuoco reclaimed his place at the head of the timings at the midway point with Bernstorff rising to second before Kirchhöfer displaced the Brit. Matheo Tuscher stopped on track at turn 4 leaving a five minute shootout for the drivers to do their best to improve.

At the chequered flag Fuoco had claimed P1 ahead of Kirchhöfer, Bernstorff, Ghiotto, Mardenborough, Ocon, Boschung, Eriksson, Tunjo and Tuscher.

The second and final day of the Estoril pre-season test will commence at 09.00 local time and finish at 12.00. There will be a 1 hour break with the afternoon session running from 13.00 – 16.00.

Estoril: Day 1
Morning Results
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Oscar Tunjo Trident 1:29.061 19
2. Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 1:29.450 13
3. Luca Ghiotto Trident 1:29.577 29
4. Jann Mardenborough Carlin 1:29.680 14
5. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1:29.798 9
6. Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 1:29.805 13
7. Mitchell Gilbert Carlin 1:29.926 11
8. Emil Bernstorff Arden International 1:29.959 12
9. Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 1:30.000 12
10. Marvin Kirchhöfer ART Grand Prix 1:30.018 14
11. Kevin Ceccon Arden International 1:30.137 12
12. Matthew Parry Koiranen GP 1:30.400 14
13. Alfonso Celis. Jr ART Grand Prix 1:30.425 15
14. Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1:30.575 13
15. Antonio Fuoco Carlin 1:30.621 14
16. Adderly Fong Koiranen GP 1:30.660 18
17. Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1:30.678 23
18. Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 1:30.742 10
19. Alex Palou Campos Racing 1:30.967 22
20. Artur Janosz Trident 1:31.607 25
21. Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 1:31.769 11
22. Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 1:32.381 21
23 Aleksander Bosak Arden International 1:32.787 11

Afternoon Results

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Antonio Fuoco Carlin 1:28.410 36
2. Marvin Kirchhöfer ART Grand Prix 1:28.411 35
3. Emil Bernstorff Arden International 1:28.433 30
4. Luca Ghiotto Trident 1:28.516 26
5. Jann Mardenborough Carlin 1:28.595 35
6. Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 1:28.626 31
7. Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 1:28.638 34
8. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1:28.773 26
9. Oscar Tunjo Trident 1:28.994 32
10. Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 1:29.001 37
11. Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 1:29.015 37
12. Mitchell Gilbert Carlin 1:29.169 20
13. Alex Palou Campos Racing 1:29.304 35
14. Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 1:29.465 46
15. Matthew Parry Koiranen GP 1:29.477 31
16. Kevin Ceccon Arden International 1:29.599 30
17. Alfonso Celis. Jr ART Grand Prix 1:29.860 33
18. Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 1:30.017 23
19. Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 1:30.207 32
20. Artur Janosz Trident 1:30.393 31
21. Adderly Fong Koiranen GP 1:30.448 24
22. Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 1:31.879 20
23 Aleksander Bosak Arden International 1:33.201 29

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