Wickens shows Status GP strength again at Valencia

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Valencia, Spain, 18th June 2010:   Canadian Robert Wickens was again right on the pace during the second day of running at Valencia as he ended the mid-season GP3 Series test second quickest. The   21-year-old,   who   had   been   quickest   on   day   one,   traded   fastest   times   with championship leader Esteban Gutierrez through the afternoon, but with rain falling at the Ricardo Tormo permament circuit before the final set of new tyres could be run, he was pipped into second by the Mexican by just four thousandths of a second. It was another signal  of  intent  by  Wickens  that  he’s  determined  get  back on  terms  in  the championship when  the  Formula  One™  support  series  moves  to  its  third  event  of  the  season  at  the European Grand Prix on the streets of Valencia next weekend. Lebanon’s  Daniel  Morad  was  pleased  to  have  got  through  a  substantial  programme  of  set-up development, but felt that his pace on old tyres was enough to indicate that a top five position was on the cards once his two sets of fresh Pirelli rubber were bolted on. A slight error on his best lap on the first set meant he pinned his hopes on the final run, but when the rain arrived in the final 30 minutes he was left in 12th position. Ivan Lukashevich once again took a step forward, with the Russian breaking into the top half  of  the  field  with  a  time  0.73sec  off  team-mate  Wickens.  The  19-year-old  Marussia Motors  development  driver  was  other  hopeful  of  improving  further  on  his  final  run,  but leaves  the  final  official  test  of  the  season  with  confidence  boosted  prior  to  the  Valencia street race. The Drivers’ View Robert Wickens (CAN): (Best afternoon time: 1m28.06s, +0.004s; Pos: 2nd). “It  was  another  good  day,  although  it  would  have  been  nice  to  be  P1  again.  But  we’re moving forward with the car set-ups and our race pace seems to be very strong, so hats off to everyone in the Status GP team for a strong test.” Daniel Morad (LIB): (Best afternoon time: 1m28.66s, +0.608s; Pos: 12th). “Realistically I should have been in the top five, but I made a slight mistake on my fastest lap. Then I was all ready to go on my final set of new tyres before the rain came. Still, we’ve covered a lot of good ground here and I look forward to racing next weekend.” Ivan Lukashevich (RUS): (Best afternoon time: 1m28.83s, +0.777s; Pos: 15th). “It was the improvement I was looking for yesterday, and I’m pleased to break into the top half of the field. We were trying a lot of things today, and that’s what testing’s all about. Step by step I’m moving forward and it’s encouraging.”