Gabriel Bortoleto ran the quickest time of the F3 morning session in Jerez, setting a 1:29.554 for Trident in the first half of Day 2. Josep María Martí was up there again after a strong first day to end the morning P2 ahead of Zak O’Sullivan in the PREMA Racing #5.
Martí was top of the times in a close afternoon session that included a late flurry of improvements in the top five. The Campos Racing driver set a 1:31.324 in the final 15 minutes of Day 2 to take P1 ahead of Hitech Grand Prix’s Gabriele Mini and PREMA’s Paul Aron.
O’Sullivan was quick out of the gates for the Italian team. He set a 1:30.025 in the opening half an hour to take the top spot. Bortoleto wasn’t far behind for very long. The Brazilian was the first driver into the 1:29’s to go fastest in his Trident. His 1:29.871 was almost beaten by Martí in the Campos car. The Spaniard ended up 0.056s off as he leapt up the times.
The first Red Flag of the day came just ahead of the first hour mark. Taylor Barnard went off at Turn 10 in his Jenzer Motorsport car to bring a brief halt to proceedings. The British driver had been 10th-fastest at the time and, while his crash meant his morning was over prematurely, he ended up in same position at the chequered flag.
Green flag running resumed, and Kaylen Frederick restored himself back up to the top five after ending yesterday’s afternoon session top of the pile. Another pause quickly followed with just over an hour and a half to go of the morning segment. Roberto Faria went off at Turn 8 in his ART Grand Prix, bringing out the Red Flag briefly.
With just over an hour to go, Oliver Goethe made it two Tridents in the top five, climbing to P5 on a 1:30.046. Much of the remainder of the session passed without much incident with plenty of laps logged.
Nikola Tsolov was the busiest man in Jerez in the morning session, clocking 54 laps in the first half of the day in his ART Grand Prix. The Bulgarian ended up 16th on a 1:30.548. Before the end, Bortoleto improved his best time to end up 0.373s clear of anybody on a 1:29.554.
Christian Mansell started the afternoon session on the right foot, setting a 1:32.492 to go fastest in the opening half hour. Hugh Barter in the #21 made it a Campos 1-2 before the Red Flags reappeared. Barnard spun into the gravel at Turn 8, beaching his car in the process.
After the session resumed, Barter quickly went to the top of the timing screens with a 1:32.226. Before just approaching the hour mark, Martí put in a 1:32.025 for a Campos 1-2-3. Mansell was into the 1:31s shortly after with a 1:31.952.
The second Red Flag of the afternoon came courtesy of Mini who nosed his Hitech Grand Prix car into the barriers at Turn 10. Campos continued to set the pace after the resumption. First, Mansell lowering the bar to a 1:31.952 before Martí bettered that with a 1:31.807.
Bortoleto picked up from the morning session to pip the Spaniard by just 0.003s to take P1 with under an hour to go. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he was the next to cause a Red Flag, going nose-first into the Turn 10 barriers, just after lowering his own time to a 1:31.747.
Hitech’s Mini was the next to take the top spot, going just 0.011s faster than Bortoleto’s effort to rebound from his earlier off. With 20 minutes left of Day 2, another Red Flag was thrown after Barnard went off at Turn 10.
It was back to green flag conditions with 15 minutes left and the improvements followed rapidly. O’Sullivan quickly restored himself to P1 before Mini went one better to put his Hitech back on top with a 1:31.442. Martí improved to a 1:31.324 with just over five minutes remaining. Paul Aron and Dino Beganovic also moved up to third and fourth places respectively to end the day.
The Jerez test concludes tomorrow with the morning session kicking off at 9am local time.