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FORMULA RENAULT 3.5 NEWS 

Pietro Fantin fastest on final day of FR3.5 testing at Jerez

Pietro Fantin, FR3.5 testing Jerez 2014Pietro Fantin topped the final day of Formula Renault 3.5 pre-season testing at Jerez on Wednesday.

The Brazilian, who endured a tough rookie season with Arden alongside Antonio Felix da Costa in 2013, led the way for Draco during the morning running when the track was at its quickest.

Fantin headed regular pre-season frontrunners Sergey Sirtotkin and Pierre Gasly, as every driver set their best time in the morning and the top 16 were covered by just half a second.

"I'm thrilled to finish the test like this because we didn't make a very good start," said Fantin.

"We had a lot of understeer before making good progress yesterday. The changes we made helped us get back to our true level."

Sauber Formula 1 reserve driver Sirotkin was fastest in the afternoon session, edging out Tio Ellinas, Zoel Amberg and Gasly.

Red Bull junior Carlos Sainz managed 21 laps in the afternoon before leaving early to take part in a Formula 1 demonstration in Kuwait later this week.

There was news on the driver market front from the test as well, as AV Formula announced the signing of ex-Red Bull junior Beitske Visser.

Visser, who steps up from German Formel Masters, said: "I fell in love with the F.Renault 3.5 car and from then on contesting the season became my only aim.

"I used any spare time I had to work out and build the strength and stamina needed to master such a car, and I'm happy with the progress we've made in testing."

The 19-year-old will be the first female to race in FR3.5 since Pippa Mann in 2008.

Only 21 cars were in action on the final day, with Carlin not running at all, and Comtec and Tech 1 running one car each.

Pos Driver                Team          Time        Gap       Laps
 1. Pietro Fantin         Draco         1m25.945s             55
 2. Sergey Sirotkin       Fortec        1m26.006s   +0.061s   62
 3. Pierre Gasly          Arden         1m26.017s   +0.072s   50
 4. Marco Sorensen        Tech 1        1m26.031s   +0.086s   71
 5. Nikolay Martsenko     Comtec        1m26.129s   +0.184s   74
 6. Roberto Merhi         Zeta Corse    1m26.163s   +0.218s   50
 7. Marlon Stockinger     Lotus         1m26.185s   +0.240s   84
 8. Oliver Rowland        Fortec        1m26.189s   +0.244s   27
 9. Carlos Sainz          DAMS          1m26.201s   +0.256s   49
10. Jazeman Jaafar        ISR           1m26.219s   +0.274s   57
11. Norman Nato           DAMS          1m26.223s   +0.278s   53
12. Luca Ghiotto          Draco         1m26.272s   +0.327s   48
13. Matias Laine          Strakka       1m26.313s   +0.368s   59
14. Matthieu Vaxiviere    Lotus         1m26.401s   +0.456s   95
15. Meindert van Buuren   Pons          1m26.410s   +0.465s   50
16. Will Stevens          Strakka       1m26.416s   +0.471s   60
17. Tio Ellinas           Pons          1m26.526s   +0.581s   65
18. Will Buller           Arden         1m26.755s   +0.810s   37
19. Beitske Visser        AVF           1m26.982s   +1.037s   70
20. Zoel Amberg           AVF           1m27.545s   +1.600s   53
21. Roman Mavlanov        Zeta Corse    1m27.618s   +1.673s   43
 
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