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Barcelona GP3: Stanaway leads first practice session of 2014

Richie Stanaway set the fastest time in the 45-minute free practice session for the opening round of the 2014 GP3 Series season at Barcelona.

The ex-Lotus Formula 1 junior was on the fringes of the top 10 for the majority of the session before vaulting to the top of the order with less than five minutes remaining.

His time of 1m36.357s was 0.329 seconds better than Roman de Beer's best effort, after he enjoyed a brief spell at the top of the timesheets before the Status Grand Prix driver improved.

Luis Sa Silva was another driver to make late gains to claim third, ahead of Marvin Kirchhofer, who had sat comfortably in first place before the top trio put in their fastest laps.

The reigning German Formula 3 champion was followed by 17-year-old Santiago Urrutia in the order and pre-season pacesetter Nick Yelloly, who had the most productive afternoon with 18 laps under his belt.

Red Bull-backed Alex Lynn began his debut GP3 season by finishing seventh, ahead of series returnee Dino Zamparelli.

Dean Stoneman marked his full-time return to single-seater racing with 17th for Manor Racing, while Jann Mardenborough finished 1.529s off the ultimate pace in 21st.

The session was briefly interrupted 20 minutes from its conclusion when rookie Ivan Taranov stopped on track after he spun his Hilmer Motorsport machine.

The Russian was able to restart under his own steam, causing only a two-minute red flag delay, and he eventually finished in 25th position.

Pos  Driver              Team      Time        Gap    Laps
 1.  Richie Stanaway     Status    1m36.357s           17 
 2.  Roman de Beer       Trident   1m36.686s  +0.329s  15 
 3.  Luis Sa Silva       Carlin    1m36.789s  +0.432s  14 
 4.  Marvin Kirchhofer   ART       1m36.817s  +0.460s  13 
 5.  Santiago Urrutia    Koiranen  1m36.850s  +0.493s  13 
 6.  Nick Yelloly        Status    1m36.886s  +0.529s  18 
 7.  Alex Lynn           Carlin    1m36.950s  +0.593s  14 
 8.  Dino Zamparelli     ART       1m36.987s  +0.630s  15 
 9.  Alex Fontana        ART       1m37.027s  +0.670s  14 
10.  Jimmy Eriksson      Koiranen  1m37.029s  +0.672s  14 
11.  Emil Bernstorff     Carlin    1m37.066s  +0.709s  15 
12.  Matheo Tuscher      Jenzer    1m37.095s  +0.738s  15 
13.  Robert Visoiu       Arden     1m37.169s  +0.812s  15 
14.  Adderly Fong        Jenzer    1m37.403s  +1.046s  15 
15.  Pal Varhaug         Jenzer    1m37.410s  +1.053s  16 
16.  Patrick Kujala      Manor     1m37.446s  +1.089s  16 
17.  Dean Stoneman       Manor     1m37.528s  +1.171s  14 
18.  Victor Carbone      Trident   1m37.646s  +1.289s  16 
19.  Patric Niederhauser Arden     1m37.818s  +1.461s  16 
20.  Beitske Visser      Hilmer    1m37.872s  +1.515s  17 
21.  Jann Mardenborough  Arden     1m37.886s  +1.529s  18 
22.  Alfonso Celis Jr    Status    1m37.950s  +1.593s  13 
23.  Denis Nagulin       Trident   1m38.344s .+1.987s  18 
24.  Ryan Cullen         Manor     1m38.406s  +2.049s  16 
25.  Ivan Taranov        Hilmer    1m38.858s  +2.501s  16 
26.  Nelson Mason        Hilmer    1m39.336s  +2.979s  7  
27.  Carmen Jorda        Koiranen  1m40.239s  +3.882s  13 
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