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Hughes fastest on first day of GP3 testing at Paul Ricard

Written by  Feb 21, 2018

Jake Hughes was fastest overall in the first GP3 test session of 2018, setting a best lap of 1:49.456 to beat ART Grand Prix teammate Nikita Mazepin and Niko Kari of MP Motorsport to the top of the timesheets.

The day was greeted with a mixture of early snowfall and drizzle, and the teams spent the first hour of the session completing their customary installation laps in the wet. New team MP Motorsport were quickest out of the blocks, as Kari took to the circuit first and was shortly followed out by team-mates Dorian Boccolacci and Leonard Hoogenboom.

Following the flurry of activity in the opening hour, the teams waited for warmer conditions at the Circuit Paul Ricard before returning to the track for their first flying runs, Juan Manuel Correa of Jenzer Motorsport eventually breaking the stalemate after half an hour.

As the sun came out, the times quickly began to tumble. With 15 minutes left on the clock, Trident’s Alessio Lorandi broke into the 2:00s before Hubert eclipsed the field with the first laptime below the two minute mark, ending the morning on top of the timesheets. At the end of the morning session, Lorandi and Alesi were second and third, followed by Trident stablemate Pedro Piquet.

Mazepin went into the break fifth fastest, ahead of Tatiana Calderon (Jenzer) and Hughes, while Boccolacci, Leonardo Pulcini (Campos Racing) and Joey Mawson (Arden International) completed the initial top 10.

With the afternoon’s track conditions much clearer compared to the morning’s running, the drivers were lapping far quicker than they had managed earlier in the day.

The circuit was buzzing with activity in the opening 30 minutes – Jenzer’s David Beckmann first to break ground – as all the teams sought to maximise their time on-track. Hubert immediately picked up from where he left off in the morning to set the early pace, heading fellow ART teammates Mazepin, Callum Ilott and Hughes after half an hour.

Newcomer Mawson leapfrogged the ARTs at the hour mark, becoming the first driver to drop into the 1m50s laptimes, before Hubert once again returned to the top of the timesheets half-way through the session.

The circuit was quiet at the midpoint of the session as the teams geared up for the final hour of the session. A number of drivers traded fastest times, with Boccolacci first to set a lap in the 1m49s bracket before being displaced by Hubert and Pulcini.

Hughes then surged to the top of the standings with 15 minutes remaining, jumping ahead of teammate Mazepin, and remained unchallenged for the rest of the session. Kari beat Pulcini to third fastest, while Hubert dropped to fifth overall.

Boccolacci was sixth fastest, ahead of Gabriel Aubry (Arden), while Trident trio Lorandi, Ryan Tveter and Piquet completed the top 10.

Day 1 Morning Results

 

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1

Anthoine Hubert

ART Grand Prix

1:59.549

21

2

Alessio Lorandi

Trident

1:59.799

19

3

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

1:59.996

19

4

Pedro Piquet

Trident

2:00.391

16

5

Nikita Mazepin

ART Grand Prix

2:00.539

19

6

Tatiana Calderon

Jenzer Motorsport

2:00.548

27

7

Jake Hughes

ART Grand Prix

2:00.554

18

8

Dorian Boccolacci

MP Motorsport

2:00.569

17

9

Leonardo Pulcini

Campos Racing

2:00.621

15

10

Joey Mawson

Arden International

2:00.822

20

11

Simo Laaksonen

Campos Racing

2:00.957

28

12

Ryan Tveter

Trident

2:01.005

19

13

Juan Manuel Correa

Jenzer Motorsport

2:01.342

20

14

Niko Kari

MP Motorsport

2:01.630

9

15

Leonard Hoogenboom

MP Motorsport

2:02.103

18

16

David Beckmann

Jenzer Motorsport

2:03.042

17

17

Diego Menchaca

Campos Racing

2:03.490

15

18

Callum Ilott

ART Grand Prix

2:03.508

8

19

Gabriel Aubry

Arden International

2:03.752

13

20

Julien Falchero

Arden International

2:03.969

12

Day 1 Afternoon Results

 

Driver

Team

Laptime

Laps

1

Jake Hughes

ART Grand Prix

1:49.456

39

2

Nikita Mazepin

ART Grand Prix

1:49.563

41

3

Niko Kari

MP Motorsport

1:49.575

41

4

Leonardo Pulcini

Campos Racing

1:49.599

35

5

Anthoine Hubert

ART Grand Prix

1:49.786

39

6

Dorian Boccolacci

MP Motorsport

1:49.846

36

7

Gabriel Aubry

Arden International

1:50.003

39

8

Alessio Lorandi

Trident

1:50.197

35

9

Ryan Tveter

Trident

1:50.267

37

10

Pedro Piquet

Trident

1:50.335

37

11

Joey Mawson

Arden International

1:50.528

32

12

Tatiana Calderon

Jenzer Motorsport

1:50.568

41

13

Simo Laaksonen

Campos Racing

1:50.653

42

14

Juan Manuel Correa

Jenzer Motorsport

1:50.706

43

15

David Beckmann

Jenzer Motorsport

1.50.928

38

16

Julien Falchero

Arden International

1:50.943

25

17

Giuliano Alesi

Trident

1:51.264

41

18

Leonard Hoogenboom

MP Motorsport

1:51.849

31

19

Diego Menchaca

Campos Racing

1:51.888

37

20

Callum Ilott

ART Grand Prix

1:52.117

19

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