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ART GP’s Martins starts final day of F2 testing on top

by Ida Wood

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

ART Grand Prix’s FIA Formula 3 champion Victor Martins was fastest on the final morning of Formula 2 post-season testing.

Martins set his best lap halfway through his run plan for the session, and his 1m35.908s effort kept him in first place through the final hour without issue.

DAMS initially led the way with Ayumu Iwasa and Arthur Leclerc, with Martins’ team-mate Theo Pourchaire in an arly third place.

Martins then moved ahead after 12 minutes, putting himself 0.027 seconds ahead of Leclerc, and he improved twice to keep himself ahead through the first hour.

Pourchaire took over at the top when he broke into the 1m35s, but he would then find no further laptime gain in the next two hours as the focus switched to long runs. He was just 0.010s faster than Charouz Racing System’s Roy Nissany at the time he moved into first place, with Leclerc 0.046s back in third and Martins 0.134s behind in fourth.

Although there was no personal bests set after that in the second hour for most drivers, some did improve after previously not setting a representative pace. Campos Racing’s Kush Maini had exceeded track limits on all of his flying laps until 75 minutes had passed, and Jehan Daruvala and then Amaury Cordeel rose into fifth place on the timesheet.

It was not just Martins who was able to better Pourchaire going into the final hour, as Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan also set a sub-1m36s lap to squeeze himself between them at the top of the leaderboard before pitting.

Maini managed to end the session in sixth, ahead of Carlin’s Enzo Fittipaldi and Hitech GP’s Isack Hadjar.

For a long time Prema’s Frederik Vesti was over 10s off the pace, but with a few improvements in the final hour he managed to end the session 4.236s back in last place. He had set the pace the previous afternoon.

Morning session results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Victor Martins ART GP 1m35.908s 49
2 Jack Doohan Virtuosi 1m35.935s +0.027s 41
3 Theo Pourchaire ART GP 1m35.968s +0.060s 36
4 Roy Nissany Charouz Racing System 1m35.978s +0.070s 45
5 Arthur Leclerc DAMS 1m36.014s +0.106s 50
6 Kush Maini Campos Racing 1m36.041s +0.133s 53
7 Enzo Fittipaldi Carlin 1m36.114s +0.206s 48
8 Isack Hadjar Hitech GP 1m36.207s +0.209s 43
9 Jehan Daruvala MP Motorsport 1m36.207s +0.299s 38
10 Amaury Cordeel Virtuosi 1m36.296s +0.388s 40
11 Zane Maloney Carlin 1m36.361s +0.453s 32
12 Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 1m36.365s +0.457s 38
13 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport 1m36.415s +0.507s 37
14 Ayumu Iwasa DAMS 1m36.422s +0.514s 40
15 Clement Novalak Trident 1m36.595s +0.687s 31
16 Ollie Bearman Prema 1m36.599s +0.691s 44
17 Juan Manuel Correa VAR 1m36.736s +0.828s 52
18 Jak Crawford Hitech GP 1m36.847s +0.939s 42
19 Roman Stanek Trident 1m37.046s +1.138s 39
20 Rafael Villagomez VAR 1m37.307s +1.399s 50
21 Brad Benavides Charouz Racing System 1m38.108s +2.200s 18
22 Frederik Vesti Prema 1m40.144s +4.236s 66