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Spa FR3.5: Nico Muller fastest in Friday practice

Nico Muller, Draco, Spa FR3.5 2013Monaco Formula Renault 3.5 race-winner Nico Muller picked up where he left off in the Principality by topping free practice at Spa on Friday.

The Swiss driver, who took his maiden victory in the category on the streets of Monte Carlo last weekend, jumped to the top of the times for Draco in a dry afternoon session with just three minutes remaining.

Until that point, Muller - who was sixth quickest in wet conditions earlier in the day - had not been a factor near the front.

Championship leader Kevin Magnussen led the way for the majority of the session in his DAMS car, losing top spot briefly to Lotus's Marco Sorensen with around 20 minutes to go, and again to Muller at the end.

The McLaren junior edged out title rivals Antonio Felix da Costa and Stoffel Vandoorne, both of whom made late improvements to at least get closer to the driver who had a comfortable margin over the field for much of his time out front.

The only other big improvement towards the end of the session came courtesy of Will Stevens. The Briton jumped up to fifth in the closing minutes, before failing to improve on his final lap despite setting a personal best first sector time and the outright best final sector.

Sorensen slumped to sixth after his brief run at the head of the field going into the closing stages, while Oliver Webb, Lucas Foresti, Carlos Sainz Jr and Andre Negrao completed the top 10.

Magnussen had also narrowly missed out on topping the morning session in wet conditions, where he was beaten to first position by local star (and fellow McLaren junior) Vandoorne.

Practice one:

Pos  Driver                  Team            Time       Gap
 1.  Stoffel Vandoorne       Fortec          2m19.894s
 2.  Kevin Magnussen         DAMS            2m20.025s  + 0.131s
 3.  Norman Nato             DAMS            2m20.321s  + 0.427s
 4.  Carlos Huertas          Carlin          2m20.571s  + 0.677s
 5.  Carlos Sainz Jr         Zeta            2m20.607s  + 0.713s
 6.  Nico Muller             Draco           2m20.831s  + 0.937s
 7.  Sergey Sirotkin         ISR             2m20.996s  + 1.102s
 8.  Daniil Move             Comtec          2m21.269s  + 1.375s
 9.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Arden Caterham  2m21.288s  + 1.394s
10.  Jazeman Jaafar          Carlin          2m21.329s  + 1.435s
11.  Marco Sorensen          Lotus           2m21.382s  + 1.488s
12.  Andre Negrao            Draco           2m21.457s  + 1.563s
13.  Arthur Pic              AV              2m21.614s  + 1.720s
14.  Lucas Foresti           Comtec          2m21.707s  + 1.813s
15.  Will Stevens            P1/Strakka      2m22.095s  + 2.201s
16.  Oliver Webb             Fortec          2m22.192s  + 2.298s
17.  Zoel Amberg             Pons            2m22.210s  + 2.316s
18.  Pietro Fantin           Arden Caterham  2m22.269s  + 2.375s
19.  Matias Laine            P1/Strakka      2m22.319s  + 2.425s
20.  Christopher Zanella     ISR             2m22.630s  + 2.736s
21.  Nigel Melker            Tech 1          2m22.631s  + 2.737s
22.  Nikolay Martsenko       Pons            2m23.115s  + 3.221s
23.  Mikhail Aleshin         Tech 1          2m23.287s  + 3.393s
24.  Mihai Marinescu         Zeta            2m23.369s  + 3.475s
25.  Yann Cunha              AV              2m23.617s  + 3.723s
26.  Marlon Stockinger       Lotus           2m25.049s  + 5.155s

Practice two:

Pos  Driver                  Team            Time       Gap
 1.  Nico Muller             Draco           2m00.281s
 2.  Kevin Magnussen         DAMS            2m00.311s  + 0.030s
 3.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Arden Caterham  2m00.412s  + 0.131s
 4.  Stoffel Vandoorne       Fortec          2m00.482s  + 0.201s
 5.  Will Stevens            P1/Strakka      2m00.492s  + 0.211s
 6.  Marco Sorensen          Lotus           2m00.635s  + 0.354s
 7.  Oliver Webb             Fortec          2m00.680s  + 0.399s
 8.  Lucas Foresti           Comtec          2m00.911s  + 0.630s
 9.  Carlos Sainz Jr         Zeta            2m01.032s  + 0.751s
10.  Andre Negrao            Draco           2m01.052s  + 0.771s
11.  Nigel Melker            Tech 1          2m01.082s  + 0.801s
12.  Arthur Pic              AV              2m01.124s  + 0.843s
13.  Sergey Sirotkin         ISR             2m01.214s  + 0.933s
14.  Daniil Move             Comtec          2m01.234s  + 0.953s
15.  Marlon Stockinger       Lotus           2m01.295s  + 1.014s
16.  Nikolay Martsenko       Pons            2m01.346s  + 1.065s
17.  Norman Nato             DAMS            2m01.373s  + 1.092s
18.  Jazeman Jaafar          Carlin          2m01.403s  + 1.122s
19.  Pietro Fantin           Arden Caterham  2m01.496s  + 1.215s
20.  Mikhail Aleshin         Tech 1          2m01.535s  + 1.254s
21.  Carlos Huertas          Carlin          2m01.934s  + 1.653s
22.  Christopher Zanella     ISR             2m01.961s  + 1.680s
23.  Matias Laine            P1/Strakka      2m02.050s  + 1.769s
24.  Mihai Marinescu         Zeta            2m02.792s  + 2.511s
25.  Yann Cunha              AV              2m03.121s  + 2.840s
26.  Zoel Amberg             Pons            2m04.499s  + 4.218s
Daytona Competition
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