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Davide Valsecchi leads Hockenheim GP2 practice

Davide Valsecchi, DAMS, Hockenheim 2012Former 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
British GP competition
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