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Estoril GP3 test: Carlos Sainz Jr quickest again

Sainz quickest again at EstorilCarlos Sainz Jr set the pace for a second day in a row during official GP3 Series testing at Estoril in Thursday.

The 18-year-old Spaniard, who is switching to the championship from Formula 3 this year, leapt to the head of the timesheets in the final 30 minutes of running.

The MW Arden driver's 1m27.654s lap was enough to knock Manor driver Tio Ellinas off the top spot by 0.318s, Trident's Giovanni Venturini then splitting the pair even later in the day with a lap 0.285s slower than Sainz.

Conor Daly was the best of the ART drivers in fourth, ahead of Sainz's team-mate Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Korjus of series newcomer Koiranen Motorsport.

The day's running began in the wet after heavy morning rain, and this limited many drivers' running early on.

By lunchtime a dry line had emerged, however, allowing David Fumanelli - eighth overall - to set the pace ahead of the hour-long break.

The tricky conditions caught out several drivers with Jimmy Eriksson, Patrick Kujala, Facu Regalia and Ethan Ringel all bringing out the red flags due to spins. Samin Gomez did likewise during the afternoon.

New team Bamboo Engineering gave Irishman Ryan Cullen a run-out in the afternoon in place of Lewis Williamson fourth in the morning while Melville McKee took over Adderly Fong's Status car for the afternoon.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver                  Team        Time     Laps
 1.  Carlos Sainz Jr         MW Arden    1m27.654s  31
 2.  Giovanni Venturini      Trident     1m27.939s  26
 3.  Tio Ellinas             Manor       1m27.971s  40
 4.  Conor Daly              ART         1m28.026s  32
 5.  Daniil Kvyat            MW Arden    1m28.071s  34
 6.  Kevin Korjus            Koiranen    1m28.151s  29
 7.  Alex Fontana            Jenzer      1m28.156s  26
 8.  David Fumanelli         Trident     1m28.261s  27
 9.  Jack Harvey             ART         1m28.517s  22
10.  Facu Regalia            ART         1m28.722s  28
11.  Patrick Kujala          Koiranen    1m28.729s  27
12.  Nick Yelloly            Carlin      1m28.734s  29
13.  Emanuele Zonzini        Trident     1m28.787s  37
14.  Dino Zamparelli         Manor       1m29.045s  32
15.  Aaro Vainio             ART         1m29.191s  26
16.  Robert Visoiu           MW Arden    1m29.342s  22
17.  Samin Gomez             Jenzer      1m29.556s  35
18.  Roberto La Rocca        Bamboo      1m29.570s  26
19.  Jimmy Eriksson          Status      1m29.574s  34
20.  Josh Webster            Status      1m29.640s  34
21.  Ethan Ringel            Bamboo      1m29.748s  22
22.  Eric Lichtenstein       Carlin      1m29.768s  40
23.  Patric Niederhauser     Jenzer      1m29.808s  32
24.  Melville McKee          Status      1m30.241s  43
25.  Vicky Piria             Manor       1m30.383s  33
26.  Luis Sa Silva           Carlin      1m30.425s  33
27.  Ryan Cullen             Bamboo      1m31.347s  33
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