Alexander Sims sets pace in first GP3 practice at Valencia

Alexander Sims put in a late lap to top the first GP3 practice session of the weekend at Valencia

Alexander Sims sets pace in first GP3 practice at Valencia

The Status Grand Prix driver came out on top as a group of quick times were all set within seconds of each other with two minutes remaining.

Just before Sims crossed the line to set the session-topping lap, frequent pace setters Tom Dillmann and Mitch Evans had very brief final spells at the head of the field.

Dillmann, returning to the series with Addax for the first time since taking pole position and a podium finish for Carlin at the Istanbul season- opener, enjoyed several spells at the top of the order. But in the end he had to settle for third, as first Evans and then Sims came into play.

Evans was on course to challenge Sims again in the final seconds, but he had to sacrifice his final lap due to yellow flags. Nigel Melker was another to suffer the same fate, so he had to back off and settle for fifth.

Gabby Chaves made it two Addax cars in the top four, and the team was on course to have all three of its cars at the sharp end before Dean Smith crashed at the second corner after setting what was the fifth fastest lap at the halfway stage.

ART's Valtteri Bottas was one of the pace-setters in the early minutes of the session, although he had a brief scare when he bounced along the kerb on the start/finish straight when on course to go fastest. He improved late on to go third, but was eventually bumped down to sixth.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Alexander Sims Status 1m59.708s 2. Mitch Evans MW Arden 1m59.798s + 0.090s 3. Tom Dillmann Addax 1m59.863s + 0.155s 4. Gabby Chaves Addax 1m59.930s + 0.222s 5. Nigel Melker RSC Mucke 1m59.974s + 0.266s 6. Valtteri Bottas ART 1m59.978s + 0.270s 7. Aaro Vainio Tech 1 2m00.025s + 0.317s 8. Lewis Williamson MW Arden 2m00.045s + 0.337s 9. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Manor 2m00.052s + 0.344s 10. Conor Daly Carlin 2m00.114s + 0.406s 11. Michael Christensen RSC Mucke 2m00.134s + 0.426s 12. Nico Muller Jenzer 2m00.194s + 0.486s 13. Matias Laine Manor 2m00.214s + 0.506s 14. Simon Trummer MW Arden 2m00.250s + 0.542s 15. Pedro Nunes ART 2m00.285s + 0.577s 16. Marlon Stockinger Atech CRS 2m00.298s + 0.590s 17. Ivan Lukashevich Status 2m00.305s + 0.597s 18. Luciano Bacheta RSC Mucke 2m00.558s + 0.850s 19. Dean Smith Addax 2m00.573s + 0.865s 20. James Calado ART 2m00.694s + 0.986s 21. Antonio Felix da Costa Status 2m00.737s + 1.029s 22. Daniel Morad Carlin 2m00.783s + 1.075s 23. Rio Haryanto Manor 2m00.842s + 1.134s 24. Leonardo Cordeiro Carlin 2m01.067s + 1.359s 25. Nick Yelloly Atech CRS 2m01.084s + 1.376s 26. Tamas Pal Kiss Tech 1 2m01.149s + 1.441s 27. Maxim Zimin Jenzer 2m01.374s + 1.666s 28. Thomas Hylkema Tech 1 2m02.155s + 2.447s 29. Vittorio Ghirelli Jenzer 2m03.413s + 3.705s 30. Zoel Amberg Atech CRS 
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Tom Dillmann quickest for Addax in second GP3 practice on Valencia streets

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