Bianchi tops Valencia GP2 practice
|By Glenn Freeman||Friday, June 24th 2011, 10:41 GMT|
Jules Bianchi set the pace in GP2 free practice with his final lap of the session on the streets of Valencia.
The ART driver came out on top of effectively a one-lap shootout, which was created when the session restarted after a red flag with only three minutes remaining.
Championship leader Romain Grosjean went into the final flurry at the top of the timesheets, where he had been since usurping series returnee Christian Vietoris (Racing Engineering) after nine minutes.
But the DAMS driver was baulked by iSport's Marcus Ericsson on his final hotlap, and he was powerless to stop Bianchi, Giedo van der Garde (Addax) and Luca Filippi (Super Nova) from moving him down to fourth place.
Behind him there were also late improvements from Addax's Charles Pic and Racing Engineering's Dani Clos, while Sam Bird (iSport) finished the session seventh having been second before the red flag.
Reigning GP3 champion Esteban Gutierrez (ART) featured towards the front of the timesheets throughout the session, but he had to settle for eighth after a minor off-track excursion on his final lap.
Monaco feature race winner Davide Valsecchi was ninth for AirAsia, while Vietoris - racing for the first time since the season opener in Turkey - completed the top 10.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Jules Bianchi ART 1m47.681s 2. Giedo van der Garde Addax 1m47.736s + 0.055s 3. Luca Filippi Super Nova 1m48.114s + 0.433s 4. Romain Grosjean DAMS 1m48.189s + 0.508s 5. Charles Pic Addax 1m48.206s + 0.525s 6. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1m48.308s + 0.627s 7. Sam Bird iSport 1m48.456s + 0.775s 8. Esteban Gutierrez ART 1m48.484s + 0.803s 9. Davide Valsecchi AirAsia 1m48.520s + 0.839s 10. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1m48.707s + 1.026s 11. Max Chilton Carlin 1m48.800s + 1.119s 12. Alvaro Parente Carlin 1m48.881s + 1.200s 13. Michael Herck Coloni 1m48.931s + 1.250s 14. Marcus Ericsson iSport 1m48.960s + 1.279s 15. Luiz Razia AirAsia 1m49.146s + 1.465s 16. Fairuz Fauzy Super Nova 1m49.650s + 1.969s 17. Fabio Leimer Rapax 1m49.759s + 2.078s 18. Johnny Cecotto Ocean 1m49.805s + 2.124s 19. Jolyon Palmer Arden 1m50.056s + 2.375s 20. Rodolfo Gonzalez Trident 1m50.229s + 2.548s 21. Pal Varhaug DAMS 1m50.412s + 2.731s 22. Kevin Ceccon Coloni 1m50.997s + 3.316s 23. Julian Leal Rapax 1m51.238s + 3.557s 24. Kevin Mirocha Ocean 1m51.567s + 3.886s 25. Josef Kral Arden 1m59,074s + 11.393s 26. Stefano Coletti Trident 1m59.640s + 11.959s