Soucek tops Barcelona test

Recently-crowned Formula 2 champion Andy Soucek set the pace in official testing at Barcelona ahead of this weekend's season finale

Soucek tops Barcelona test

Soucek, who had run in the top six for most of the day, set the pace in 1m38.910s with 10 minutes of the final session remaining.

The Spaniard's late effort pushed Milos Pavlovic, who had occupied the top spot for most of the final hour, into second place by a little over three tenths of a second.

"I knew we had good pace but I wasn't expecting to be that fast," said Soucek. "I am still really fired up for this weekend.

"There is a lot of work to do, but I am fully focussed on taking each session as it comes later in the week."

With drivers only allowed to use the powerboost system in the final session, most of them lowered their times significantly late on.

Canadian Robert Wickens and Frenchman Julien Jousse were next up with Philipp Eng fifth.

The star performer was Formula Palmer Audi graduate Tristan Vautier. The Frenchman was quickest of all in the non-boost sessions, ahead of his series debut this weekend.

"It felt great," he said. "The paddle shift is fantastic and the power and grip levels are so much better than the Formula Palmer Audi car.

"I never expected to be so quick but I have to keep my feet on the ground. I was running on new tyres while many others were on used rubber. There is still a lot of time to be found, but I am really enjoying it."

Vautier was relegated to sixth in the final session, ahead of Mikhail Aleshin, who spun twice earlier in the day.

Tobias Hegewald, Sebastian Hohenthal, Jens Hoing and Nicola de Marco all went off-course during the morning, with the red flags coming out on a few occasions.

Pos Driver Time Gap 1. Soucek 1m38.910s 2. Pavlovic 1m39.214s + 0.304s 3. Wickens 1m39.247s + 0.337s 4. Jousse 1m39.309s + 0.399s 5. Eng 1m39.475s + 0.565s 6. Vautier 1m39.494s + 0.584s 7. Aleshin 1m39.350s + 0.440s 8. Vasiliauskas 1m39.608s + 0.698s 9. Moore 1m39.946s + 1.036s 10. Bortolotti 1m39.653s + 0.743s 11. De Marco 1m40.039s + 1.129s 12. Hegewald 1m40.305s + 1.395s 13. Palmer 1m40.320s + 1.410s  14. Hohenthal 1m40.524s + 1.614s 15. Brundle 1m40.593s + 1.683s 16. Iaconelli 1m40.659s + 1.749s 17. Sanchez 1m40.676s + 1.766s 18. Clarke 1m40.916s + 2.006s 19. Ebrahim 1m41.024s + 2.114s 20. Hancock 1m41.104s + 2.194s 21. Gachnang 1m41.160s + 2.250s 22. Karjalainen 1m41.476s + 2.566s 23. Hoing 1m41.757s + 2.847s 24. Gandolfi 1m43.474s + 4.564s 
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