Calado heads Snetterton F3 test

James Calado topped the timesheet after the first day of the first British Formula 3 pre-season test at Snetterton today

Calado heads Snetterton F3 test

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed Carlin driver set the pace throughout the day and lapped the wet Norfolk track in a 1m10.428s best.

Calado finished up 0.342s clear of his French team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, while his newly-signed Brazilian team-mate Adriano Buzaid claimed fourth.

"It's gone well," said 21-year-old Calado, "and I've learned a lot from today, which is the key thing."

Many teams spent the first day shaking down newly built up cars, following problems with suppliers and parts turning up hours before the test.

Volkswagen-powered cars locked out the first four places, as Alex Brundle finished his maiden outing in a British F3 car with a 1m11.055s best to claim third spot for T-Sport.

"Snetterton is home and of course it's one of my favourite tracks. It's been a good day and we've made a lot of progress," said Brundle.

His team-mate Menasheh Idafar finished up fastest of the National Class runners on his favourite circuit, setting seventh best time overall.

Last year's National Class runner-up Gabriel Dias endured a tough start to his new career with Hitech Racing. Brake problems led to a spin early on, and resultant damage to his chassis kept him off the track for most of the day.

Formula Renault UK graduate Oli Webb set the fifth fastest time for Fortec, just over eight tenths off the pace, and ended up quickest of the Mercedes runners.

Teams spokesman Peter Briggs was delighted by a 21-car turn-out on day one at Snetterton.

"We have 50 per cent more cars at our first test this season than last, and that's a great and very encouraging result," said Briggs.

"It's fantastic also to see so many international drivers choosing British F3; the prospects are bright for a superb season."

Testing continues tomorrow (Thursday) at Snetterton ahead of another two-day outing at Rockingham next week.

Pos Driver Team Car Time 1. James Calado Carlin D/V 1m10.428s 2. Jean-Eric Vergne Carlin D/V 1m10.770s 3. Alex Brundle T-Sport D/V 1m11.055s 4. Adriano Buzaid Carlin D/V 1m11.057s 5. Oli Webb Fortec D/M 1m11.285s 6. William Buller Hitech D/V 1m11.442s 7. Menasheh Idafar T-Sport D/H 1m11.706s 8. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Carlin D/V 1m11.777s 9. Carlos Huertas Double R D/M 1m11.875s 10. Daisuke Nakajima Double R D/M 1m12.008s 11. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin D/V 1m12.685s 12. Daniel McKenzie Fortec D/M 1m12.826s 13. Jay Bridger Litespeed D/M 1m12.966s 14. James Cole T-Sport D/H 1m13.104s 15. Hywel Lloyd CF Racing D/M 1m13.280s 16. Pietro Fantin Hitech D/V 1m13.325s 17. Lucas Foresti Hitech D/V 1m13.826s 18. Alex Jones West-Tec D/H 1m14.075s 19. Craig Reiff Litespeed S/H 1m14.124s 20. Adderley Fong Sino Vision D/M 1m14.920s 21. Gabriel Dias Hitech D/V 1m15.109s 
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