Piastri tops F3 test session at Valencia

Oscar Piastri tests a Formula 3 with Prema Racing

Australian Oscar Piastri has topped the afternoon session on Day 2 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship post-season test at Valencia.

Piastri, who has joined Prema Racing for the test, clocked a 1:21.679s with the chequered flag out to regain first position on the timesheet from Hitech Grand Prix’s Yuki Tsunoda.

Jack Doohan, in another Hitech entry, was fourth fastest in the session, during which teams reportedly worked on race simulations and long runs, with a 1:21.771s.

His compatriot, Calan Williams, finished the session 28th with a 1:22.762s as the three Jenzer Motorsport cars ended up one after the other from 26th position.

Christian Lundgaard set the pace in the morning session and the day as a whole with a 1:20.860s in an ART Grand Prix entry.

Doohan was sixth in that hitout with a 1:21.212s, Williams 16th with a 1:21.571s, and Piastri 17th with a 1:21.650s.

While another day of the test remains, Piastri is en route to Abu Dhabi for the final round of the Formula Renault Eurocup, to which he takes a 13.5-point championship lead.

Meanwhile at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, New Zealander Hunter McElrea set the pace in the weekend’s Indy Pro 2000 testing on the road course.

McElrea, who finished runner-up in this year’s USF2000 Championship, the preceding rung on the Road To Indy ladder, recorded a fastest lap of 1:19.4553s.

That time put him just over a tenth clear of the next quickest driver, Colin Kaminsky, who was also in a Pabst Racing car.

“This is surreal, actually,” said McElrea, who also raced with Pabst in USF2000 in 2019.

“I was quickest at this test last year in USF2000 and that really put me on the map going into the (Road to Indy) Shootout (which McElrea won to earn the USF2000 drive) – and now, I’m here a year later topping the Indy Pro 2000 test.

“It’s a credit to Augie Pabst and everyone at Pabst Racing. They let me have a go at this car to prove what I can do, and what they can do as well.

“For a rookie team in this series to come out of this test one-two, you can’t get any better than that.

“The car was amazing straight out of the box and I was in the top three in every session I did, with a race run at the end to feel what the car is like in race trim. That was definitely a highlight of the weekend.

“It was a lot of new things to adapt to, but the Road to Indy has done a great job in making it a big step from USF2000 but a smooth one in terms of gaining confidence.

“Now I have to work hard to be on the grid next year, but hopefully this helps.”

Hunter McElrea tests an Indy Pro 2000 car pic: Hunter McElrea Facebook

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