Spa GP2: Vandoorne sets practice pace on home soil

GP2 points leader Stoffel Vandoorne kicked off his home race weekend in style by topping the timesheets in Saturday's practice session.

Spa GP2: Vandoorne sets practice pace on home soil
Stoffel Vandoorne, ART Grand Prix
Second place Stoffel Vandoorne, ART Grand Prix
Mitch Evans, RUSSIAN TIME
Alexander Rossi, Racing Engineering
Alex Lynn, DAMS leads Pierre Gasly, DAMS
Raffaele Marciello, Trident

The McLaren-backed Belgian ousted Alexander Rossi from the top spot just over 10 minutes into the session with a time of 1m57.499s, going two tenths quicker than the Californian.

Vandoorne was then able to shave a further 0.013s off his benchmark on his next flying lap to record a 1m57.486s, which would go unchallenged for the remainder of the session as the drivers switched their focus to longer runs thereafter.

Mitch Evans slotted into second, 0.154s behind Vandoorne, demoting Rossi to third place.

Hungary feature race winner Alex Lynn was fourth fastest, 0.347s off the pace and just eight thousandths clear of fellow Briton Oliver Rowland in his second GP2 outing of the season - although the MP Motorsport driver ground to a halt on his way back to the pits.

In the dying stages of the session, Lynn's DAMS teammate Pierre Gasly jumped from 13th to sixth, with Sergey Sirotkin demoted to seventh and Arthur Pic, who ended the session with a spin into the barriers, being pushed down to eighth.

Completing the top 10 were Jordan King and Raffaele Marciello, who came to a stop at the pit exit midway through the session but was able to resume.

Marciello's new Trident teammate Gustav Malja was less fortunate, his debut GP2 session coming to a premature halt after a spin at the final chicane.

Practice times:

Pos. Driver Team Time Gap
Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1'57.486  
Mitch Evans RUSSIAN TIME 1'57.640 0.154
Alexander Rossi Racing Engineering 1'57.731 0.245
Alex Lynn DAMS 1'57.833 0.347
Oliver Rowland MP Motorsport 1'57.841 0.355
Pierre Gasly DAMS 1'57.871 0.385
Sergey Sirotkin Rapax 1'58.108 0.622
Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1'58.141 0.655
Jordan King Racing Engineering 1'58.188 0.702
10  Raffaele Marciello Trident 1'58.231 0.745
11  Norman Nato Arden International 1'58.249 0.763
12  Sergio Canamasas Daiko Team Lazarus 1'58.343 0.857
13  Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 1'58.446 0.960
14  Daniël de Jong MP Motorsport 1'58.463 0.977
15  Richie Stanaway Status Grand Prix 1'58.496 1.010
16  Andre Negrao Arden International 1'58.744 1.258
17  Rio Haryanto Campos Racing 1'58.822 1.336
18  Nathanael Berthon Daiko Team Lazarus 1'58.866 1.380
19  Julian Leal Carlin 1'58.884 1.398
20  Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix 1'59.202 1.716
21  Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 1'59.209 1.723
22  Nick Yelloly Hilmer Motorsport 1'59.232 1.746
23  Robert Visoiu Rapax 1'59.610 2.124
24  Sean Gelael Carlin 2'00.683 3.197
25  Gustav Malja Trident 2'01.194 3.708
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