Aragon Formula 3.5 V8 test: Isaakyan and Barnicoat set pace

Formula Renault 2.0 graduates Matevos Isaakyan and Ben Barnicoat topped a session each as Aragon's three-day Formula 3.5 V8 test began on Wednesday

Aragon Formula 3.5 V8 test: Isaakyan and Barnicoat set pace

Renault Sport Technologies' traditional rookie test took place as planned despite its works backing of the championship ending this season, with 10 drivers invited on the basis of their 2015 achievements in other series.

Russian Isaakyan had impressed in last month's Jerez test for Pons Racing and continued with the Spanish squad. After ending the morning in fifth, the SMP-backed driver recorded a fastest time of 1m41.505s in the afternoon session.

"I really like this car," said Isaakyan. "It is great to have so much downforce, although it is the hardest thing to master.

"We lacked top speed in the morning and lost more than four tenths of a second in the final sector, which has the longest straight.

"In sector two, which is more technical, I was often the fastest. The afternoon went smoothly, and ended on a very positive note."

Racing Steps Foundation-supported FR2.0 Eurocup frontrunner Barnicoat (pictured below) was fastest in the morning, posting a 1m41.822s to beat fellow Carlin runner Dean Stoneman by a tenth of a second.

"In contrast to last November, my times were validated because I wasn't running under the minimum weight limit!" joked Barnicoat.

"This was a first with Carlin and the morning session was superb.

"This is a huge step forward compared to the Formula Renault 2.0, but this car has taught me all the driving fundamentals and are helping me progress for the future."

Team-mate Stoneman contested this year's FR3.5 Series for DAMS, but has experience of Carlin from his recent GP2 debut at Sochi.

Barnicoat's 2015 Eurocup rivals Louis Deletraz and Kevin Korg took third and fourth in the morning session driving for Lotus and Fortec respectively.

Jorg repeated his morning position of third in the later session, which was extremely closely contested.

Just 0.074s covered the top three drivers. Strakka Racing's Jake Hughes improved eight tenths from his morning effort to emerge as Isaakyan's closest challenger.

A title protagonist for Koiranen GP in this season's FR2.0 Eurocup, and runner-up in the Alps series, Hughes felt there was more to come.

"Last year, I had just one day in the car," said Hughes. "After the [October] test at Jerez, I had all I need to know in my mind when I jumped back in the car.

"All the reference points quickly returned and I am happy with the work we've done, but there is still more to do."

MORNING TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Ben Barnicoat Carlin 1m41.822s - 35
2 Dean Stoneman Carlin 1m41.922s 0.100s 30
3 Kevin Jorg Lotus 1m42.055s 0.233s 31
4 Louis Deletraz Fortec Motorsports 1m42.071s 0.249s 50
5 Matevos Isaakyan Pons Racing 1m42.101s 0.279s 38
6 Callum Ilott Strakka Racing 1m42.247s 0.425s 45
7 Jake Hughes Strakka Racing 1m42.393s 0.571s 41
8 Matthieu Vaxiviere Spirit of Race 1m42.532s 0.710s 33
9 Yu Kanamaru Pons Racing 1m42.608s 0.786s 40
10 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m42.814s 0.992s 39
11 Anthoine Hubert Tech 1 Racing 1m42.866s 1.044s 46
12 Thiago Vivacqua AVF 1m43.013s 1.191s 33
13 Dan Wells Spirit of Race 1m43.051s 1.229s 37
14 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m43.183s 1.361s 29
15 Jack Aitken Arden Motorsport 1m43.312s 1.490s 35
16 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m43.413s 1.591s 40
17 Ukyo Sasahara Comtec Racing 1m43.449s 1.627s 38
18 Alex Bosak Fortec Motorsports 1m43.488s 1.666s 38
19 Vitor Baptista Lotus 1m44.534s 2.712s 22

AFTERNOON TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Matevos Isaakyan Pons Racing 1m41.505s - 36
2 Jake Hughes Strakka Racing 1m41.545s 0.040s 27
3 Kevin Jorg Lotus 1m41.579s 0.074s 28
4 Callum Ilott Strakka Racing 1m41.705s 0.200s 34
5 Yu Kanamaru Pons Racing 1m41.823s 0.318s 35
6 Ben Barnicoat Carlin 1m41.881s 0.376s 31
7 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m41.903s 0.398s 33
8 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m41.911s 0.406s 41
9 Louis Deletraz Fortec Motorsports 1m41.927s 0.422s 29
10 Ukyo Sasahara Comtec Racing 1m42.042s 0.537s 22
11 Jack Aitken Arden Motorsport 1m42.105s 0.600s 41
12 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m42.169s 0.664s 33
13 Dean Stoneman Carlin 1m42.235s 0.730s 30
14 Tom Dillmann AVF 1m42.632s 1.127s 8
15 Anthoine Hubert Tech 1 Racing 1m42.855s 1.350s 39
16 Alex Bosak Fortec Motorsports 1m43.104s 1.599s 36
17 Vladimir Atoev Spirit of Race 1m43.149s 1.644s 34
18 Vitor Baptista Lotus 1m43.244s 1.739s 42
19 Nikita Zlobin Spirit of Race 1m45.144s 3.639s 15


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