Davide Valsecchi leads Hockenheim GP2 practice
|By Charles Bradley||Friday, July 20th 2012, 10:32 GMT|
Former GP2 points leader Davide Valsecchi began his quest to regain the series lead in the best possible fashion by topping free practice at Hockenheim on Friday morning for the DAMS team.
The session began in dry conditions, but leaden skies threatened to unload and there were spots of rain from the start. First victim was Johnny Cecotto Jr of Addax, who spun through 180-degrees at the Nordkurve on his first flying lap, and Arden's Simon Trummer almost followed suit seconds later.
Esteban Gutierrez of Lotus and Marcus Ericsson of iSport traded top spot early on, but it was points leader Luiz Razia (Arden) who hammered home the first truly representative P1 time, a 1m24.151s. That was demoted moments later by Valsecchi's 1m24.031s, 0.12 seconds faster.
Gutierrez was third fastest on 1m24.269s, just 0.02s quicker than Coloni's Stefano Coletti. Both Gutierrez and team-mate James Calado have a 10-place grid penalty hanging over them going into Friday afternoon's qualifying period for misdemeanours at Silverstone.
The session was interrupted by a sizeable accident sustained by Giancarlo Serenelli's Lazarus entry. He ran wide onto the damp Astroturf on the exit of the corner entering the stadium section and clipped the grass, which spun him across the track and into the tyre wall on the inside of the corner. He slammed into the wall, tearing the left-front wheel off as he spun around three times.
The Venezuelan was able to climb out of his car unaided, but was taken to the medical centre for a check-up. When the session was restarted, sufficient rain had fallen to render the remaining running time pretty useless.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1m24.031s 2. Luiz Razia Arden 1m24.151s + 0.120s 3. Esteban Gutierrez Lotus 1m24.269s + 0.238s 4. Stefano Coletti Coloni 1m24.289s + 0.258s 5. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m24.337s + 0.306s 6. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1m24.342s + 0.311s 7. James Calado Lotus 1m24.462s + 0.431s 8. Max Chilton Carlin 1m24.573s + 0.542s 9. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m24.622s + 0.591s 10. Fabio Onidi Coloni 1m24.688s + 0.657s 11. Josef Kral Addax 1m24.804s + 0.773s 12. Johnny Cecotto Jr Addax 1m24.838s + 0.807s 13. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1m24.888s + 0.857s 14. Nigel Melker Ocean 1m24.924s + 0.893s 15. Jolyon Palmer iSport 1m24.965s + 0.934s 16. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1m24.974s + 0.943s 17. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1m24.977s + 0.946s 18. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham 1m25.051s + 1.020s 19. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1m25.108s + 1.077s 20. Simon Trummer Arden 1m25.557s + 1.526s 21. Stephane Richelmi Trident 1m25.665s + 1.634s 22. Victor Guerin Ocean 1m26.071s + 2.040s 23. Sergio Canamasas Lazarus 1m26.475s + 2.444s 24. Julian Leal Trident 1m26.762s + 2.731s 25. Giancarlo Serenelli Lazarus 1m27.459s + 3.428s 26. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1m28.126s + 4.095s