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FORMULA RENAULT 3.5 NEWS 

Ricciardo on top in practice two

Daniel Ricciardo, ISR, Monza 2011After his impressive grand prix practice performances with Toro Rosso recently, Red Bull Junior driver Daniel Ricciardo again produced the goods by setting the fastest lap in the second Formula Renault 3.5 free practice session at Monza.

The 2010 series runner-up's time of 1m37.246s eclipsed the previous benchmark held by Alexander Rossi with a little over two minutes of the session remaining. Australian Ricciardo is chasing his first win of the season with his new team ISR. The partnership had a tough debut race outing in round two at Spa-Francorchamps.

Fortec's Rossi hung on to claim second, just 0.137s adrift, while Brendon Hartley repeated his morning result of third with 2011 newcomer Gravity-Charouz. Hartley's team-mate Jan Charouz will take a six-place grid penalty for tomorrow's race after an accident during an overtaking manoeuvre at Spa.

Championship leader Robert Wickens ended the afternoon in fourth for Carlin, 0.01s ahead of Epic Racing's Albert Costa.

Draco Racing's Stephane Richelmi held P1 for much of the session, but the 2010 Italian Formula 3 runner-up encountered problems towards the end of the session and, along with Comtec's Daniel de Jong, had to be towed back to pits.

"Stephane saw a red light on the dashboard and stopped as a precaution," said Draco team manager Nadia Morini. "We have looked over the car and it seems to be fine so we hope it is just an electrical mistake."

Qualifying for the second Formula Renault 3.5 race at Monza will take place on Saturday afternoon rather than its more established timeslot on Sunday morning.

"It could influence your approach to race one," said Comtec's Daniel McKenzie. "Accidents in these cars often tend to require overnight work to repair them, rather than being sorted out properly in an hour or so after a race. If someone has dramas in race one, it could leave them with a lot of problems."

Pos  Driver               Team             Time       Gap
 1.  Daniel Ricciardo     ISR              1m37.246s
 2.  Alexander Rossi      Fortec           1m37.383s  + 0.137s
 3.  Brendon Hartley      Gravity-Charouz  1m37.575s  + 0.329s
 4.  Robert Wickens       Carlin           1m37.692s  + 0.446s
 5.  Albert Costa         Epic             1m37.702s  + 0.456s
 6.  Cesar Ramos          Fortec           1m37.782s  + 0.536s
 7.  Stephane Richelmi    Draco            1m38.003s  + 0.757s
 8.  Sergio Canamasas     BVM Target       1m38.064s  + 0.818s
 9.  Arthur Pic           Tech 1           1m38.094s  + 0.848s
10.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Carlin           1m38.152s  + 0.906s
11.  Kevin Korjus         Tech 1           1m38.156s  + 0.910s
12.  Andre Negrao         Draco            1m38.183s  + 0.937s
13.  Jan Charouz          Gravity-Charouz  1m38.229s  + 0.983s
14.  Daniel Zampieri      BVM Target       1m38.297s  + 1.051s
15.  Anton Nebylitskiy    KMP              1m38.298s  + 1.052s
16.  Daniil Move          P1               1m38.330s  + 1.084s
17.  Nathanael Berthon    ISR              1m38.330s  + 1.084s
18.  Sten Pentus          Epic             1m38.342s  + 1.096s
19.  Jake Rosenzweig      Mofaz            1m38.354s  + 1.108s
20.  Chris van der Drift  Mofaz            1m38.530s  + 1.284s
21.  Filip Salaquarda     Pons             1m38.548s  + 1.302s
22.  Oliver Webb          Pons             1m38.648s  + 1.402s
23.  Walter Grubmuller    P1               1m38.722s  + 1.476s
24.  Nelson Panciatici    KMP              1m39.114s  + 1.868s
25.  Daniel de Jong       Comtec           1m39.134s  + 1.888s
26.  Daniel McKenzie      Comtec           1m39.394s  + 2.148s
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