ormula One aspirant Dean Smith underlined his GP3 Series credentials during officially timed winter testing at Estoril in Portugal on Friday, 15th October, by concluding his run with the Addax Team third fastest during the afternoon session.
Running within just 0.3 seconds of the pace at the 4.2 kilometre track during the morning, seventh fastest on the timing screens with a lap of 1m31.240 seconds, the Wolverhampton 22-year-old moved into the top three in the afternoon – although times were around half a second slower – with a best of 1m31.734 seconds.
“Today was really good, the guys at Addax did a great job”, said Dean, “To be just 0.3 seconds off in the morning was pretty good but in the afternoon I didn’t get the best of the tyres on the final set because the track had changed quite a lot. I had oversteer on entry into the corners and at the exit as well.
“Bearing that in mind, to end up within half a second of the pace was good and an indication of where we should be. Overall, it was a great day and I want to say a big thank you to Carlos Nunes for giving me the opportunity to run with the team.”
On the opening day of the officially timed test, Wednesday, 13th October, the 2009 Formula Renault UK Champion and McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner ran with the Status Grand Prix team and lapped within 0.7 seconds of the pace in the morning; within 0.6 seconds during the afternoon.
Having concluded his maiden season of GP3 action with Carlin this year a very creditable seventh in championship, and as the highest placed British driver, Dean is fully committed to mounting a title challenge in 2011.
The BRDC Superstar added: “I want to be back in GP3 next year fighting for the championship from the start. This year was good, we had our fair share of problems, but there were some definite high points. I know if we have a good package we can challenge for the title.”
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