Spa GP3 practice delayed by ECU problem, series confident of fix

GP3 Series practice on the Belgian Grand Prix weekend was delayed by an ECU problem, which the series believes it has now solved ready for qualifying

Spa GP3 practice delayed by ECU problem, series confident of fix

Sauber Formula 1 junior driver Tatiana Calderon managed to set a time at the start of the session but then returned to the pits as the red flag came out, and the cars sat for 20 minutes while being worked on by GP3 technical staff.

The problem did not reoccur for the rest of the session.

"We experienced an issue with the programming of the ECU," said GP3 technical boss Didier Perrin.

"Once we analysed the problem, we asked for the session to be red-flagged in order to reprogramme the ECU of all cars as quickly as possible and ensure that all drivers benefited from the same amount of track time."

Once the session was back under way, Trident Racing's David Beckmann went fastest for a second GP3 practice in a row. He had switched to the team before the last round in Hungary and also topped practice there.

Beckmann headed an all-Trident top four, with Pedro Piquet, Giuliano Alesi and Ryan Tveter completing the formation.

The ART Grand Prix drivers struggled - almost a second off the pace with championship leader Anthoine Hubert the team's highest-placed driver in fifth. ART is unlikely to be that far off during Friday evening's qualifying session.

Making his GP3 Series debut with MP Motorsport in place of Dorian Boccolacci - who has moved up to Formula 2 - Richard Verschoor managed 16th, two spots behind the best MP car of Niko Kari and one place ahead of team-mate Devlin DeFrancesco.

Practice times

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 David Beckmann Trident 2m06.111s - 10
2 Pedro Piquet Trident 2m06.216s 0.105s 9
3 Giuliano Alesi Trident 2m06.524s 0.413s 9
4 Ryan Tveter Trident 2m06.680s 0.569s 9
5 Anthoine Hubert ART Grand Prix 2m07.073s 0.962s 10
6 Nikita Mazepin ART Grand Prix 2m07.091s 0.980s 10
7 Juan Manuel Correa Jenzer Motorsport 2m07.169s 1.058s 10
8 Jake Hughes ART Grand Prix 2m07.194s 1.083s 10
9 Tatiana Calderon Jenzer Motorsport 2m07.266s 1.155s 12
10 Callum Ilott ART Grand Prix 2m07.494s 1.383s 10
11 Gabriel Aubry Arden International 2m07.544s 1.433s 10
12 Leonardo Pulcini Campos Racing 2m07.606s 1.495s 11
13 Simo Laaksonen Campos Racing 2m07.646s 1.535s 10
14 Niko Kari MP Motorsport 2m07.684s 1.573s 9
15 Joey Mawson Arden International 2m07.733s 1.622s 9
16 Richard Verschoor MP Motorsport 2m08.141s 2.030s 11
17 Devlin Defrancesco MP Motorsport 2m08.305s 2.194s 11
18 Jannes Fittje Jenzer Motorsport 2m08.498s 2.387s 11
19 Diego Menchaca Campos Racing 2m08.638s 2.527s 11
20 Julien Falchero Arden International - - 2

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