Published April 18, 2012
Status Grand Prix driver Marlon Stockinger posted times in the top six on both days of the last GP3 Series pre-season official test at Silverstone as the team completed its preparations for the 2012 season.
Stockinger and team-mate Kotaro Sakurai were joined by Formula Renault UK graduate Alice Powell at Status GP for the third and final two-day test before the Formula 1 support-race series kicks off next month.
On the first day Stockinger began strongly on the 3.66-mile Silverstone GP layout, ending the quicker morning session with the fifth fastest time. The Filipino-Swiss driver, who is entering his second season in GP3, had his run on new Pirelli P Zero slick tyres ruined in the afternoon as rain began to fall on his quick lap, but rebounded at the start of Day 2 to set the sixth fastest time, just 0.358s off the best lap set by Carlin’s Antonio Felix da Costa. The 21-year-old was ready to go again with new tyres in the afternoon when a gearbox sensor failure caused a slight delay, but when he took the track he was quickly returned to the leading group by setting the seventh fastest time of the session.
Japanese driver Kotaro Sakurai, who announced his deal with Status GP for his first season of GP3 last week, enjoyed a consistent two days of running to continue his progress ahead of his series race debut. The teenager set the 15th fastest time on the first morning of the test, and then cut 1.0s off the deficit to the fastest time on the morning of Day 2. A red flag hindered his final run on new tyres, but the reigning British Formula 3 National class champion rebounded well to produce a strong race simulation run to close the test.
Newcomer Powell adapted quickly to the GP3 car in her first test in the category, and the 19-year-old completed over 400 miles during the two days of running. The BRDC Rising Star quickly got to grips with the turbo-charged engine and her continual improvements resulted in her setting the 17th fastest time on the second morning, 1.5sec off the best time.
The GP3 Series, which features at eight F1 Grands Prix across Europe, starts at the Spanish Grand Prix on the Circuit de Catalunya on May 11-13.