Rossi tops leaderboard in first GP3 test
Special to The Union
LE CASTELLET, France – Having led the way in the March 4 initial test, Alexander Rossi, the Nevada City native and ART Grand Prix driver, was fastest in both of the March 5 sessions as well, eventually getting down to 1 minute 20.013 seconds around Ricard’s 3D configuration.
Rossi led an ART team 1-2 ahead of teammate and fellow Formula BMW Americas series graduate Esteban Gutierrez, who had been fastest in the one session Rossi did not top.
“This is the way to start a new season, new series and with a great team, ART,” Rossi said. “I am very thankful for the confidence both Nicolas Todt and Frederic Vassuer have in my abilities and the opportunity they have provided me.
“The expectations are very high for this season, as they should be. The whole ART team expects a lot from me, and I only expect the highest of myself. Our goals are aligned, and having Esteban as a teammate will help push each other to find more. This is good.”
ART team boss Frederic Vasseur was pleased with his squad’s form, but also with the reliability and performance of the GP3 car in its track debut.
“This has been a really positive first test session for us, but also for GP3 in general,” he said. “Our cars have been consistently reliable throughout the two days, and we have covered a significant amount of running, gathering invaluable data to move forward. After watching the cars on track these past two days, I think it’s safe to say that we have a great season of racing ahead of us.”
Carlin’s Max Chilton and Adriano Buzaid were next up in the final session, followed by Michael Christensen for MW Arden. Addax’s Pablo Sanchez Lopez and Manor’s James Jakes had completed the top three in the morning.
The 16-race GP3 Series is organized by Bruno Michel, boss of the GP2 Series, in association with F1 commercial rights manager Bernie Ecclestone. It will compete at seven grands prix this year, as well as a stand-alone event in Portimao, Portugal, alongside GP2. In addition to America’s Rossi and Mexico’s Gutierrez, Canada’s Robert Wickens also hopes to compete in GP3 this season.
For more information on the series and Alexander Rossi visit the web site http://www.AlexanderRossi.com
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