FR3.5 testing: Dean Stoneman walks away from huge crash at Jerez

Image courtesy of Mattias Persson

FR3.5 testing: Dean Stoneman walks away from huge crash at Jerez

GP3 runner-up Dean Stoneman escaped injury from a heavy accident on the opening day of Formula Renault 3.5 testing at Jerez on Thursday afternoon.

The Briton's DAMS car was reportedly destabilised by a strong gust of wind at the fast, left-hand, Turn 7 during the afternoon session.

Stoneman initially hit one wall, before sustaining a second heavier impact against another barrier that caused the car to spin several times and throw the gearbox clear of the car.

Stoneman spent 20 minutes in the Jerez medical centre being checked over, before receiving the all-clear.

The accident occurred on lap 14 of a 20-lap run. Although Stoneman reported no after-effects from the crash, his physio has advised him to consume some sugary food to minimise possible delayed reactions caused by stress on the body.

Despite the spectacular nature of the shunt, Le Mans-based team DAMS believes the car is repairable.

If replacement parts are on hand, Stoneman should run on Friday's second day of testing.

In the earlier morning session, Stoneman posted the third fastest time with 1m28.105s, behind fellow FR3.5 rookie Tio Ellinas at Strakka and pacesetter Roberto Merhi.

For close to an hour during the early part of the afternoon session, Stoneman rehearsed pitstops, something he has no previous experience of in his racing career, and practiced starts.

ELLINAS TOPS DAY ONE

Ellinas set the fastest time of the day overall.

The Strakka Racing driver's afternoon effort of 1m27.430s edged out returning 2014 FR3.5 race winners Oliver Rowland, who continues at Fortec, and Roberto Merhi.

Spaniard Merhi was the pacesetter of the 22 drivers present in the morning session thanks to a time of 1m27.579s on his first day running for Pons Racing.

Philo Paz Patrick Armand tested Pons Racing's second car, although the Indonesian rookie has not been confirmed for the season. Merhi's former team Zeta Corse ran former GP2 race winner Johnny Cecotto Jr, who suffered fuel pump and gearbox issues.

Draco Racing's Pietro Fantin was one of several drivers to suffer an incident in the morning, amid eight interruptions, but recovered to take fourth fastest on the opening session.

Recently announced Fortec signing Jazeman Jaafar was fifth quickest in the opening session and third in the afternoon, ahead of an under-the-weather Beitske Visser.

MORNING TIMES

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1m27.579s - 40
2 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m27.994s 0.415s 41
3 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m28.105s 0.526s 31
4 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m28.165s 0.586s 23
5 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m28.205s 0.626s 29
6 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m28.250s 0.671s 39
7 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m28.470s 0.891s 41
8 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m28.473s 0.894s 37
9 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m28.870s 1.291s 16
10 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Zeta Corse 1m29.112s 1.533s 30
11 Beitske Visser AVF 1m29.278s 1.699s 45
12 Meindert van Buuren Lotus 1m29.457s 1.878s 27
13 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1m29.496s 1.917s 47
14 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 1m29.614s 2.035s 35
15 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m29.660s 2.081s 36
16 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m29.788s 2.209s 13
17 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m30.174s 2.595s 18
18 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m30.415s 2.836s 24
19 Facu Regalia Zeta Corse 1m30.620s 3.041s 36
20 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m30.924s 3.345s 29
21 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m32.090s 4.511s 10
22 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m33.950s 6.371s 8

AFTERNOON TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Tio Ellinas Strakka Racing 1m27.430s - 18
2 Oliver Rowland Fortec Motorsports 1m27.434s 0.004s 23
3 Jazeman Jaafar Fortec Motorsports 1m27.732s 0.302s 31
4 Beitske Visser AVF 1m27.925s 0.495s 28
5 Pietro Fantin International Draco Racing 1m27.966s 0.536s 19
6 Meindert van Buuren Lotus 1m28.074s 0.644s 24
7 Roberto Merhi Pons Racing 1m28.257s 0.827s 14
8 Nicholas Latifi Arden Motorsport 1m28.328s 0.898s 18
9 Gustav Malja Strakka Racing 1m28.338s 0.908s 30
10 Nyck de Vries DAMS 1m28.460s 1.030s 28
11 Tom Dillmann Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m28.504s 1.074s 23
12 Philo Paz Armand Pons Racing 1m28.515s 1.085s 24
13 Alfonso Celis AVF 1m28.638s 1.208s 20
14 Matthieu Vaxiviere Lotus 1m28.778s 1.348s 38
15 Facu Regalia Zeta Corse 1m28.844s 1.414s 19
16 Sean Gelael Jagonya Ayam with Carlin 1m28.965s 1.535s 24
17 Bruno Bonifacio International Draco Racing 1m29.320s 1.890s 24
18 Egor Orudzhev Arden Motorsport 1m29.528s 2.098s 17
19 Aurelien Panis Tech 1 Racing 1m29.717s 2.287s 27
20 Roy Nissany Tech 1 Racing 1m30.229s 2.799s 33
21 Dean Stoneman DAMS 1m30.424s 2.994s 20
22 Johnny Cecotto Jr. Zeta Corse 1m31.169s 3.739s 8

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