Paul Ricard Auto GP: Tamas Pal Kiss sets practice pace
|By Peter Mills||Friday, April 18th 2014, 15:45 GMT|
Tamas Pal Kiss set the fastest time in Auto GP free practice at Paul Ricard on Friday.
The Hungarian used medium-compound Kumho tyre to go fourth fastest in the opening free practice session, the quickest driver on the harder compound of Kumhos, before producing his benchmark time of 1m17.808s in FP2.
The Zele Racing driver's lap was 0.131s quicker than Kimiya Sato, the winner of Marrakech's first race of the season last Saturday.
MRF graduate Sam Dejonghe was the only other man to dip below the 1m18s mark
Dejonghe produced a final lap flier of 1m17.956s to edge out Markus Pommer in the first session by 0.063s.
The pair had disputed the place at the top of the FP1 timesheets for the final third of the half hour session.
Dejonghe had initially displaced Campos GP2 driver Sato to go quickest, ut the Virtuosi driver was demoted with just a minute and half remaining by Super Nova driver Pommer, whose time of 1m18.019s had shaded Dejonghe by just 0.055s.
Pommer's effort was sufficient to secure the German second place in FP1, ahead Sato and Kiss.
On his first visit to Paul Ricard, Andrea Roda claimed fifth place in both FP1 and FP2 for Virtuoisi.
Virtuosi has scaled back to running two cars in France as the team reported that Slovakian Richard Gonda's car was too badly damaged in an accident with Kevin Giovesi in Marrakech to be repaired for this weekend.
Michela Cerruti completed the FP1 top six, ahead of Marrakech polesitter Kevin Giovesi.
In the second free practice session, Giovesi gained 1.2s on his FP1 best to take third, ahead of Pommer, Roda and Cerruti.
Michael Zele's team has changed its driver line-up for round two this weekend.
Former Auto GP title challenger Sergio Campana is an absentee, and the Italian's place at Zele is taken by Euronova Racing-managed driver Yoshitaka Kuroda.
Other changes to the Auto GP grid include the maiden appearance of 2012 European Formula 3 Open champion Niccolo Schiro at Ibiza Racing, in place of Francesco Dracone.
Practice 1 Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Sam Dejonghe Virtuosi 1m17.956s 2. Markus Pommer Supernova 1m18.019s +0.063s 3. Kimiya Sato Euronova 1m18.326s +0.370s 4. Tamas Pal Kiss Zele 1m18.454s +0.498s 5. Andrea Roda Virtuosi 1m18.502s +0.546s 6. Michela Cerruti Supernova 1m18.698s +0.742s 7. Kevin Giovesi Eurotech 1m19.330s +1.374s 8. Loris Spinelli Eurotech 1m19.547s +1.591s 9. Yoshitaka Kuroda Zele 1m20.140s +2.184s 10. Giuseppe Cipriani Ibiza 1m20.450s +2.494s 11. Michele La Rosa Euronova 1m21.113s +3.157s 12. Niccolo Schiro Ibiza 1m21.862s +3.906s Practice 2 Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Tamas Pal Kiss Zele 1m17.808s 2. Kimiya Sato Euronova 1m17.939s +0.131s 3. Kevin Giovesi Eurotech 1m18.157s +0.349s 4. Markus Pommer Supernova 1m18.241s +0.433s 5. Andrea Roda Virtuosi 1m18.526s +0.718s 6. Michela Cerruti Supernova 1m18.613s +0.805s 7. Loris Spinelli Eurotech 1m18.841s +1.033s 8. Sam Dejonghe Virtuosi 1m19.054s +1.246s 9. Yoshitaka Kuroda Zele 1m19.479s +1.671s 10. Giuseppe Cipriani Ibiza 1m19.617s +1.809s 11. Michele La Rosa Euronova 1m19.640s +1.832s 12. Niccolo Schiro Ibiza 1m24.280s +6.472s