Pietro Fantin fastest on final day of FR3.5 testing at Jerez
|By Glenn Freeman||Wednesday, March 26th 2014, 19:45 GMT|
Pietro 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