Mortara quickest in first practice
|By Jonathan Noble||Thursday, November 13th 2008, 03:50 GMT|
Formula 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