Practice: Karthikeyan sets pace

Tata Team Carlin made a stunning start to its first season of racing in the Superfund World Series by Nissan, with Indian racer Narain Karthikeyan setting the pace in Friday testing for the opening round at Jarama

Practice: Karthikeyan sets pace

Karthikeyan, who is entering his second season in the World Series, made the most out of a late change to new tyres to set a best lap of 1m23.445s, 0.1s quicker than Ricardo Zonta's 2002 lap record.

The opening test day was highly competitive, with just a second covering the top 14 cars and an exciting weekend of racing is assured.

Second fastest man, Epsilon by Graff's Ander Vilarino was only 0.019s slower than Karthikeyan, and Gabord Competition's Franck Montagny, who set the pace in the first timed session, was a mere 0.017s further back in third.

With Marc Gene busy testing for Williams at Barcelona, BMW touring car star Antonio Garcia was on hand to drive for Adrian Campos Motorsport. The young Spaniard did a good job, too, and was seventh on the timesheet. Gene will get a chance to drive the car ahead of qualifying tomorrow as a 30-minute practice sessions on Saturday morning has been added to the Series' schedule this year.

Another driver to shine was Austrian Norbert Siedler (Superfund Zele Racing), who was fourth fastest 0.235s down on the pacesetter. Finnish rising star Heikki Kovalainen was eighth quickest for Gabord Competition on his World Series debut, while former British Formula 3 rival Bruce Jounanny was 12th quickest in the second Team Carlin car.

Former Formula 1 driver Enrique Bernoldi was 10 fastest for RC Motorsport. Stephane Sarrazin, who drove in one grand prix for Minardi was back in 20th place for reigning team champions Racing Engineering. Belgian team-mate Bas Leinders was fifth.

Bernoldi's RC Motorsport's team-mate Polo Villaamil had a scare when he rolled his car, but fortunately the Spaniard was uninjured in the incident.

N. Karthikeyan Team Carlin 1m23.445s
A Vilarino Epsilon by Graff 1m23.464s
F Montagny Gabord Competition 1m23.481s
N Siedler Zele Racing 1m23.680s
B Leinders Racing Engineering 1m23.766s
T Rocha Zele Racing 1m23.904s

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Karthikeyan fastest at Jarama

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