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Sims on top as rain hits GP3 test

Alexander Sims, Status, Paul Ricard GP3 testing March 2011Alexander Sims led team-mate Antonio Felix da Costa in a Status one-two on the opening day of GP3 testing at Paul Ricard, as rain frustrated teams' attempts to gather early mileage.

The morning session began wet, with the track only dry enough for slicks in the closing stages.

That meant a late rush of fast laps from which Sims emerged on top with a 1m21.827s around the circuit's 3D layout. Da Costa was less than a tenth of a second slower.

Third went to 2009 Formula BMW Americas champion Gabby Chaves, the 17-year-old Colombian having a run with Addax. He was followed by 2010 McLaren/AUTOSPORT BRDC Award winner Lewis Williamson in the MW Arden car and second-year GP3 driver Miki Monras in another Addax machine.

There were only a few minutes of dry running after lunch before the rain returned with a vengeance. ART driver James Calado managed to top the timesheets with a 1m24.627s just before the track became too wet, while Manor's Rio Haryanto was credited with the best rain time - a 1m35.164s.

The test continues tomorrow.

Morning session:

Pos  Driver                  Team       Time       Gap
 1.  Alexander Sims          Status     1m21.827s
 2.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Status     1m21.913s  + 0.086s
 3.  Gabby Chaves            Addax      1m22.067s  + 0.240s
 4.  Lewis Williamson        MW Arden   1m22.221s  + 0.394s
 5.  Miki Monras             Addax      1m22.375s  + 0.548s
 6.  Tamas Pal Kiss          Tech 1     1m22.488s  + 0.661s
 7.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs     Manor      1m22.870s  + 1.043s
 8.  Ivan Lukashevich        Status     1m22.931s  + 1.104s
 9.  Tom Dillmann            Carlin     1m23.034s  + 1.207s
10.  Vittorio Ghirelli       Jenzer     1m23.180s  + 1.353s
11.  Conor Daly              Carlin     1m23.278s  + 1.451s
12.  Daniel Morad            Addax      1m23.668s  + 1.841s
13.  Marlon Stockinger       Atech CRS  1m23.993s  + 2.166s
14.  Kataro Sakurai          Carlin     1m24.959s  + 3.132s
15.  Zoel Amberg             Atech CRS  1m25.017s  + 3.190s
16.  Nick Yelloly            Atech CRS  1m26.584s  + 4.757s
17.  Valtteri Bottas         ART        1m27.312s  + 5.485s
18.  James Calado            ART        1m27.779s  + 5.952s
19.  Aaro Vainio             Tech 1     1m27.868s  + 6.041s
20.  Nigel Melker            RSC Mucke  1m28.207s  + 6.380s
21.  Michael Christensen     RSC Mucke  1m28.299s  + 6.472s
22.  Simon Trummer           MW Arden   1m28.363s  + 6.536s
23.  Rio Haryanto            Manor      1m28.520s  + 6.693s
24.  Maxim Zimin             Jenzer     1m28.830s  + 7.003s
25.  Doru Sechelariu         Tech 1     1m29.150s  + 7.323s
26.  Matias Laine            Manor      1m31.104s  + 9.277s
27.  Nico Muller             Jenzer     1m31.823s  + 9.996s
28.  Willi Steindl           RSC Mucke  1m32.335s  + 10.508s
29.  Pedro Nunes             ART        1m33.284s  + 11.457s
30.  Mitch Evans             MW Arden   1m33.645s  + 11.818s

Afternoon session:

Pos  Driver                  Team       Time       Gap
 1.  James Calado            ART        1m24.627s
 2.  Ivan Lukashevich        Status     1m25.795s  + 1.168s
 3.  Lewis Williamson        MW Arden   1m25.798s  + 1.171s
 4.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs     Manor      1m25.966s  + 1.339s
 5.  Tom Dillmann            Carlin     1m26.024s  + 1.397s
 6.  Conor Daly              Carlin     1m26.085s  + 1.458s
 7.  Valtteri Bottas         ART        1m26.092s  + 1.465s
 8.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Status     1m26.109s  + 1.482s
 9.  Alexander Sims          Status     1m26.198s  + 1.571s
10.  Nigel Melker            RSC Mucke  1m26.567s  + 1.940s
11.  Daniel Morad            Addax      1m26.632s  + 2.005s
12.  Nick Yelloly            Atech CRS  1m26.794s  + 2.167s
13.  Maxim Zimin             Jenzer     1m26.895s  + 2.268s
14.  Vittorio Ghirelli       Jenzer     1m27.349s  + 2.722s
15.  Nico Müller             Jenzer     1m27.479s  + 2.852s
16.  Michael Christensen     RSC Mucke  1m27.679s  + 3.052s
17.  Marlon Stockinger       Atech CRS  1m27.994s  + 3.367s
18.  Zoel Amberg             Atech CRS  1m28.623s  + 3.996s
19.  Tamas Pal Kiss          Tech 1     1m29.390s  + 4.763s
20.  Kataro Sakurai          Carlin     1m29.923s  + 5.296s
21.  Matias Laine            Manor      1m34.554s  + 9.927s
22.  Rio Haryanto            Manor      1m35.164s  + 10.537s
23.  Willi Steindl           RSC Mucke  1m35.203s  + 10.576s
24.  Mitch Evans             MW Arden   1m37.480s  + 12.853s
25.  Gabby Chaves            Addax      1m38.034s  + 13.407s
26.  Doru Sechelariu         Tech 1     1m38.483s  + 13.856s
27.  Aaro Vainio             Tech 1     1m38.545s  + 13.918s
28.  Pedro Nunes             ART        1m38.654s  + 14.027s
29.  Simon Trummer           MW Arden   1m38.870s  + 14.243s
30.  Miki Monras             Addax      1m39.256s  + 14.629s
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