Kovalainen Quickest in Practice

Arden International driver Heikki Kovalainen was the fastest man on track in the inaugural GP2 practice session, claiming the top spot by two tenths from BCN's Hiroki Yoshimoto and Super Nova driver Adam Carroll

Kovalainen Quickest in Practice

With just thirty minutes of practice the teams wasted little time getting the cars on track, and Campos driver Juan Cruz Alvarez was the man to lead the others onto the track for the first time.

Coloni drivers Gianmaria Bruni and Mathias Lauda lived up to team boss Paolo Coloni's instructions of being fastest from the first lap, with the pair tiptoeing through early yellow flags and split by just 0.016 as Giorgio Pantano and Nico Rosberg were waylaid with electrical problems.

They were not alone ­ electrical issues struck a number of drivers early in the session, and six drivers were unable to set times in the session. With a lot of the drivers being new to the track there were also bound to be off circuit adventures for some, and so it proved as Clivio Piccione ran off track early.

At the halfway mark of the session Ernesto Viso topped the times by just 0.005 seconds from Alvarez, but fast laps from Kovalainen and Carroll started the times tumbling.

ART's Alexandre Premat had a worrying moment through the chicane when he bounced off the curbs and just managed to hold the car, necessitating a return to the pits for some work on the car as Scott Speed's car was pushed off track by the marshalls, having stopped with a problem and deserted his car.

The final chicane caught out a number of drivers, with Yoshimoto and Can Artam missing their braking points there in the final moments, but as Alvarez stopped on track late in the session with another electrical issue Kovalainen had done enough to claim the fastest lap in his first GP2 race session.

Pos  Driver        Team                  Time       Gap   Laps
 1. H. Kovalainen  Arden International   1:35.344           9
 2. H. Yoshimoto   BCN Competicion       1:35.532   0.188  11
 3. A. Carroll     Super Nova            1:35.605   0.261  14
 4. E. Viso        BCN Competicion       1:35.676   0.332  12
 5. G. Bruni       Coloni Motorsport     1:35.706   0.362  13
 6. F. Monfardini  Durango               1:36.585   1.241  14
 7. A. Premat      ART Grand Prix        1:37.007   1.663   8
 8. A. Negrao      Hitech Piquet Sports  1:37.308   1.964  16
 9. J. Alvarez     Campos Racing         1:37.631   2.287  10
10. C. Artam       iSport International  1:37.876   2.532  11
11. N. Jani        Racing Engineering    1:37.970   2.626   8
12. M. Lauda       Coloni Motorsport     1:38.082   2.738  13
13. S. Speed       iSport International  1:38.739   3.395   5
14. S. Hernandez   Campos Racing         1:39.319   3.975   9
15. N. Piquet Jr.  Hitech Piquet Sports  1:42.001   6.657   5
16. N. Lapierre    Arden International   1:51.199  15.855   3
17. C. Piccione    Durango               1:52.353  17.009   2
18. G. Pantano     Super Nova            1:57.446  22.102   2
19. F. Fauzy       DAMS                  No time            1
20. J. Lopez       DAMS                  No time            1
21. O. Pla         DPR                   No time            0
22. R. Sharp       DPR                   No time            0
23. B. Garcia      Racing Engineering    No time            0
24. N. Rosberg     ART Grand Prix        No time            0 





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