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Mortara quickest in first practice

Edoardo MortaraFormula 3 Euro Series runner-up Edoardo Mortara kicked off his Macau Grand Prix weekend in perfect style by topping first practice on Thursday morning.

The Signature-Plus driver swapped the leading time with a host of other drivers throughout the session before edging himself clear in the final minutes.

He set his best time of 2:14.333 on his final lap - just edging out Renger van der Zande and Roberto Streit - and reckoned he could have gone faster.

"I made a mistake on my last lap so I could have been a little quicker, but anyway I am happy," said Mortara.

"The challenges of Macau are so particular and it's more important here to be fastest at the end, not at the beginning, but our package is working well and I feel good."

Japanese F3 champion Carlo van Dam was fourth fastest for TOM'S, with James Jakes fifth for ART and Stefano Coletti the fastest Macau rookie in sixth for Prema Powerteam.

There were mixed fortunes for Carlin Motorsport duo Jaime Alguersuari and Brendon Hartley, two men who have been tipped to be in the hunt for victory this weekend.

British Formula 3 champion Alguersuari was pleased with his first experience of the Macau track to end up seventh fastest.

"It was good," he said. "I really enjoyed it and I know there is plenty of room to improve as I made a mistake on my last lap."

Hartley had to sit out the second half of the session after suffering a gearbox problem. He had been near the top of the timesheet early on, but dropped down the order as other drivers improved.

Mika Maki brought out a red flag just before the halfway point of the session when he crashed heavily at Fishermen's Bend. Other drivers to hit trouble were Kazuya Oshima and Walter Grubmuller, who both hit the wall at Maternity Bend.

Pos Driver                  Team          Car    Time          Gap
 1. Edoardo Mortara         Signature     D/V    2:14.333
 2. Renger van der Zande    Prema         D/M    2:15.081   +0.748
 3. Roberto Streit          Double R      D/M    2:15.454   +1.121
 4. Carlo van Dam           TOM'S         D/T    2:15.745   +1.412
 5. James Jakes             ART           D/M    2:15.780   +1.447
 6. Stefano Coletti         Prema         D/M    2:16.893   +2.560
 7. Jaime Alguersuari       Carlin        D/M    2:17.165   +2.832
 8. Roberto Merhi           Hitech        D/M    2:17.214   +2.881
 9. Jon Lancaster           Manor         D/M    2:17.469   +3.136
10. Sam Bird                Manor         D/M    2:17.689   +3.356
11. James Winslow           Ombra         D/H    2:17.872   +3.539
12. Max Chilton             Hitech        D/M    2:17.932   +3.599
13. Kei Cozzolino           Now           D/T    2:18.234   +3.901
14. Walter Grubmuller       Hitech        D/M    2:18.432   +4.099
15. Jules Bianchi           ART           D/M    2:18.464   +4.131
16. Atte Mustonen           Double R      D/M    2:18.508   +4.175
17. Franky Cheng            Signature     D/V    2:18.593   +4.260
18. Oliver Turvey           Carlin        D/M    2:19.096   +4.763
19. Michael Ho              Double R      D/M    2:19.107   +4.774
20. Brendon Hartley         Carlin        D/M    2:19.483   +5.150
21. Daniel Campos-Hull      HBR           D/M    2:19.508   +5.175
22. Keisuke Kunimoto        TOM'S         D/T    2:19.958   +5.625
23. Kazuya Oshima           Manor         D/M    2:20.311   +5.978
24. Marcus Ericsson         Carlin        D/M    2:20.338   +6.005
25. Laurens Vanthoor        RC            D/V    2:20.443   +6.110
26. Mika Maki               Signature     D/M    2:20.475   +6.142
27. Koki Saga               Le Beausset   D/T    2:20.839   +6.506
28. Basil Shaaban           HBR           D/M    2:21.263   +6.930
29. Nicola de Marco         RC            D/V    2:21.526   +7.193
30. Massaki Matsushita      PTRS/Ombra    D/H    2:24.645  +10.312

D/V = Dallara Volkswagen, D/M = Dallara Mercedes, D/T = Dallara 
Toyota, D/H = Dallara Mugen-Honda
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