GP3 testing: Leonardo Pulcini 0.012s faster than Callum Ilott

Campos Racing driver Leonardo Pulcini topped the timesheets on the opening day of the final pre-season GP3 test at Barcelona by just 0.012 seconds from Callum Ilott

GP3 testing: Leonardo Pulcini 0.012s faster than Callum Ilott

Pulcini left it late to knock ART Grand Prix man Ilott off the top of the times, setting a best effort of 1m32.785s in the final five minutes of an extended afternoon session.

Drivers did not attempt any slick-tyre runs until the final part of the morning session because of dirty track conditions caused by the recent World Rallycross round, and the lack of early action prompted a one-hour extension to the day's running.

ART's Jake Hughes was the first driver to break the 1m33s barrier with a 1m32.971s, but Ilott knocked his team-mate off the top spot with a little under half an hour to run.

Another ART driver, Nikita Mazepin, also beat Hughes' time to slot into third, 0.051s slower than Ilott and within a tenth of Pulcini's benchmark.

Hughes remained fourth, while Giuliano Alesi was the best of the Trident contingent in fifth place despite causing a red flag by going off in the gravel in the afternoon.

Antoine Hubert also brought afternoon proceedings to a halt by hitting the wall, and finished the day in seventh behind Pedro Piquet.

David Beckmann, morning pacesetter Dorian Boccolacci and former Red Bull junior Niko Kari rounded off the top 10, with all 20 drivers improving in the afternoon session.

MP Motorsport newcomer Will Palmer was 13th-fastest in his first day of GP3 testing action, one place behind Sauber Formula 1 test driver Tatiana Calderon.

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