Vasiliauskas takes the opening day honours

Vasiliauskas takes the opening day honours
Lithuanian heads Dean Smith and Benjamin Bailly in Portugal


Kazim Vasiliauskas set the fastest time in the final hour of today’s (Friday) test in Portimão to confirm his place at the top of the times.

Dean Smith was second in the final session and second overall, although his fastest time of the day was set during the morning running. Benjamin Bailly was the last driver to pass the chequered flag under the evening sunset, and his fantastic final lap promoted the promising Belgian to third.

Danish driver Johan Jokinen led for much of the final session, but he eventually dropped to fourth after using his last set of fresh tyres earlier than the majority of his rivals. Spaniard Ramón Piñeiro ended the day in fifth overall – the 18-year-old having set his quickest lap time during the opening hour of the morning session.

Russian racer Ivan Samarin had a fantastic final hour as the 21-year-old improved dramatically to take sixth ahead of Alex Brundle and Duncan Tappy. Jose Alonso Liste made progress throughout the day and a late flying lap promoted the Spaniard to ninth, whilst 18-year-old Jolyon Palmer rounded out the top ten.

Jack Clarke and Benjamin Lariche were separated by just 0.005s in 11th and 12th respectively. Reigning Formula Renault 2.0 Suisse Champion Nico Muller was unable to improve his time from this morning and he ended up 13th, ahead of Ricardo Teixeira. The Angolan driver made steady progress during his second run in an F2 car, with his final session time being his best of the day.

Andy Soucek set the ultimate pace during the day but as the F2 Champion is currently testing upgrades for the 2010 car he has been omitted from the times. The final day of the Formula Two winter testing programme gets underway at 9:30am tomorrow.

Kazim Vasiliauskas said: "It was a really good day. I was running down in seventh during the morning but I used that time as an opportunity to try some different things with the set-up of the car. I was then able to go fastest in the first afternoon session and then of course during the final session with the overboost facility so I am happy. After a year in Formula Two these are the kind of results I would expect however, as I am confident of consistently running at the front. The track is fantastic – it is different to anything that I have driven before. It has many challenges but I really enjoyed it."

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