Filippi tops first Abu Dhabi test

Luca Filippi set the pace as the GP2 Asia Series staged its first day of pre-season testing at the brand new Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi

Filippi tops first Abu Dhabi test

The 24-year-old Italian was second quickest in the morning session in his Meritus car, behind Davide Valsecchi.

But he leapt to the top of the standings in the second session, which ended in the dark so that the track lighting system could be tested.

Filippi's pace-setting mark of 1m52.842s was set during the second session as the track, which started the day under a layer of dust, became rubbered-in and the evening temperatures dropped by around 10 degrees.

"I have to say that we are very proud to be the first ones to test on this track, and the first ones to be quickest." said Filippi. "Meritus only does the Asia Series too, so it's a good achievement.

"In terms of layout, there are two great, fast corners. My favourite parts are the first three corners and then the last two. It's where all the fun happens and where you can prove your driver's skills. Overall, it's a really nice circuit."

Second quickest, a little over two tenths of a second slower than Filippi overall, was fellow series veteran Roldan Rodriguez, who was driving for Coloni.

Diego Nunes, in the second Meritus car, was third quickest with Valsecchi and Luiz Razia next up for iSport and Barwa Addax.

Britain's Sam Bird was the best of the rookie drivers in his ART machine, with fellow F3 Euro Series graduates Johnny Cecotto (Trident) and Christian Vietoris (DAMS) next up.

Max Chilton, Will Bratt and James Jakes were 10th, 11th and 19th for Addax, Coloni and Super Nova respectively.

Morning times:

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Davide Valsecchi iSport International 1:57.504 16 2. Luca Filippi Meritus 1:57.539 17 3. Christian Vietoris DAMS 1:57.632 8 4. Luiz Razia Barwa Addax Team 1:57.706 17 5. Alexander Rossi Ocean Racing Technology 1:57.877 10 6. Diego Nunes Meritus 1:57.907 14 7. Sam Bird ART Grand Prix 1:58.087 8 8. James Jakes Super Nova Racing 1:58.577 11 9. Johnny Cecotto Trident Racing 1:59.266 11 10. Daniel Zampieri Piquet GP 1:59.504 8 11. Max Chilton Barwa Addax Team 2:00.142 11 12. Marcus Ericsson ART Grand Prix 2:00.407 9 13. Edoardo Piscopo DAMS 2:00.782 10 14. Pablo Sanchez Arden International 2:01.111 9 15. Josef Kral Super Nova Racing 2:01.127 7 16. Will Bratt Scuderia Coloni 2:01.308 11 17. Michael Herck DPR 2:01.333 13 18. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden International 2:01.516 7 19. Fabio Leimer Ocean Racing Technology 2:01.683 5 20. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Piquet GP 2:03.842 8 21. Plamen Kralev Trident Racing 2:04.288 29 22. Roldan Rodriguez Scuderia Coloni no time

Afternoon times:

 1. Luca Filippi Meritus 1:52.842 23 2. Roldan Rodriguez Scuderia Coloni 1:53.091 26 3. Diego Nunes Meritus 1:53.188 28 4. Davide Valsecchi iSport International 1:53.279 18 5. Luiz Razia Barwa Addax Team 1:53.486 26 6. Sam Bird ART Grand Prix 1:53.572 27 7. Johnny Cecotto Trident Racing 1:53.681 35 8. Christian Vietoris DAMS 1:53.682 26 9. Daniel Zampieri Piquet GP 1:53.916 26 10. Max Chilton Barwa Addax Team 1:54.022 23 11. William Bratt Scuderia Coloni 1:54.060 25 12. Michael Herck DPR 1:54.086 20 13. Edoardo Piscopo DAMS 1:54.297 25 14. Josef Kral Super Nova Racing 1:54.494 25 15. Fabio Leimer Ocean Racing Technology 1:54.494 20 16. Alexander Rossi Ocean Racing Technology 1:54.516 16 17. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Piquet GP 1:54.661 19 18. Marcus Ericsson ART Grand Prix 1:54.740 20 19. James Jakes Super Nova Racing 1:55.714 16 20. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden International 1:55.758 10 21. Plamen Kralev Trident Racing 1:59.411 22 22. Giacomo Ricci DPR no time 
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