Garcia tops first FR3.5 test session

Spanish rookie Victor Garcia set the fastest time in the opening session of 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 collective testing at Barcelona this morning

Garcia tops first FR3.5 test session

Competing with debutant team KMP Racing, Garcia recorded a best time of 1m34.455s. Nathanael Berthon ended the morning as Garcia's closest challenger, 0.195s adrift. The French Formula Renault 2.0 graduate replaces outgoing champion Bertrand Baguette at Draco Racing.

Fresh from a GP2 Asia outing at the weekend with Rapax, Italian Formula 3 champion Daniel Zampieri recorded the third fastest time with Pons Racing.

Comtec put on a strong showing over the opening hour as Monegasque Stefano Coletti briefly led team-mate Greg Mansell at the top of the timing screens. Series returnee Mansell was bumped down to an eventual fourth, two spots ahead of former Formula 3 Euro Series and GP2 racer Coletti.

The Norfolk-based squad's pairing sandwiched Lotus Junior driver Nelson Panciatici, whose 1m34.879s was sufficient for fifth fastest.

Having run HRT Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok in private testing at Valencia last week, Czech team ISR fielded a second car for reigning Euro F3 Open champion Bruno Mendez alongside Filip Salaquarda.

Mendez's compatriot, and former Euro F3 Open rival, Sergio Canamasas was 23rd fastest for Fortec Motorsport. Richard Dutton's team has confirmed that Estonian Sten Pentus will remain on board for a second season.

Austrian outfit Interwetten was the only absentee, leaving just 24 cars present. The test concludes tomorrow.

Pos  Driver             Team             Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Victor Garcia      KMP              1m34.455s            33
 2.  Nathanael Berthon  Draco            1m34.650s  + 0.195s  36
 3.  Daniel Zampieri    Pons             1m34.732s  + 0.277s  28
 4.  Greg Mansell       Comtec           1m34.871s  + 0.416s  36
 5.  Nelson Panciatici  Lotus Junior     1m34.879s  + 0.424s  32
 6.  Stefano Coletti    Comtec           1m34.938s  + 0.483s  27
 7.  Federico Leo       Pons             1m34.951s  + 0.496s  44
 8.  Anton Nebylitskyi  KMP              1m35.199s  + 0.744s  34
 9.  Jan Charouz        P1               1m35.268s  + 0.813s  44
10.  Daniel Ricciardo   Tech 1           1m35.460s  + 1.005s  17
11.  Mikhail Aleshin    Carlin           1m35.612s  + 1.157s  43
12.  Walter Grubmuller  P1               1m35.832s  + 1.377s  46
13.  Brendon Hartley    Tech 1           1m35.941s  + 1.486s  18
14.  Jake Rosenzweig    Carlin           1m36.025s  + 1.570s  41
15.  Marcos Martinez    SG               1m36.100s  + 1.645s  27
16.  Jean Eric Vergne   SG               1m36.127s  + 1.672s  23
17.  Bruno Mendez       ISR              1m36.173s  + 1.718s  35
18.  Keisuke Kunimoto   Epsilon-Euskadi  1m36.241s  + 1.786s  28
19.  Julian Leal        Draco            1m36.329s  + 1.874s  49
20.  Albert Costa       Epsilon-Euskadi  1m36.412s  + 1.957s  27
21.  Sten Pentus        Fortec           1m36.930s  + 2.475s  27
22.  Daniil Move        Lotus Junior     1m37.635s  + 3.180s  21
23.  Sergio Canamasas   Fortec           1m38.822s  + 4.367s  42
24.  Filip Salaquarda   ISR              1m39.659s  + 5.204s  19

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