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GP2 NEWS 

Sam Bird quickest in GP2 practice at Silverstone

Sam Bird, iSport, Silverstone 2011Sam Bird topped the GP2 free practice session at Silverstone on Friday morning, edging championship leader Romain Grosjean.

The Briton sat in second place behind Grosjean (DAMS) for much of the second half of the session, and he then moved to the top of the times with two minutes remaining.

Any hopes the Frenchman had of toppling Bird on the iSport driver's home track were then scuppered when Grosjean spun exiting Copse corner on his next lap.

Behind the top two, Marcus Ericsson put in an impressive lap late in the session to put both iSport cars in the top three, while AirAsia's Davide Valsecchi was another to improve towards the end to get himself up to fourth.

Luca Filippi was one of the few drivers to bother with much running in the first half of the session, when the track dried quickly. Most went out on wet weather tyres when the pitlane opened, but the track was suitable for slicks after just a couple of minutes.

Title contender Giedo van der Garde (Addax) had an eventful session and ended up with the eighth fastest time. He was on course to improve on that as the chequered flag came out, but he ran wide exiting Stowe and crashed heavily on the inside of the track.

The Dutchman had already had one near miss when he had been forced into the gravel at Club trying to avoid a slower car on his inside.

Pos  Driver               Team                Time       Gap
 1.  Sam Bird             iSport              1m41.763s
 2.  Romain Grosjean      DAMS                1m41.936s  + 0.173s
 3.  Marcus Ericsson      iSport              1m42.293s  + 0.530s
 4.  Davide Valsecchi     AirAsia             1m42.305s  + 0.542s
 5.  Luca Filippi         Super Nova          1m42.577s  + 0.814s
 6.  Esteban Gutierrez    ART                 1m42.668s  + 0.905s
 7.  Max Chilton          Carlin              1m42.787s  + 1.024s
 8.  Giedo van der Garde  Addax               1m42.794s  + 1.031s
 9.  Luiz Razia           AirAsia             1m42.840s  + 1.077s
10.  Jules Bianchi        ART                 1m42.933s  + 1.170s
11.  Charles Pic          Addax               1m42.949s  + 1.186s
12.  Christian Vietoris   Racing Engineering  1m42.978s  + 1.215s
13.  Michael Herck        Coloni              1m43.093s  + 1.330s
14.  Fabio Leimer         Rapax               1m43.128s  + 1.365s
15.  Stefano Coletti      Trident             1m43.250s  + 1.487s
16.  Dani Clos            Racing Engineering  1m43.291s  + 1.528s
17.  Julian Leal          Rapax               1m43.544s  + 1.781s
18.  Pal Varhaug          DAMS                1m43.574s  + 1.811s
19.  Rodolfo Gonzalez     Trident             1m43.614s  + 1.851s
20.  Jolyon Palmer        Arden               1m43.616s  + 1.853s
21.  Josef Kral           Arden               1m43.737s  + 1.974s
22.  Kevin Ceccon         Coloni              1m44.053s  + 2.290s
23.  Johnny Cecotto       Ocean               1m44.188s  + 2.425s
24.  Alvaro Parente       Carlin              1m44.316s  + 2.553s
25.  Fairuz Fauzy         Super Nova          1m44.389s  + 2.626s
26.  Kevin Mirocha        Ocean               1m46.477s  + 4.714s
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