With a lap of 1:55.324, the Belgian led the way ahead of Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and his team mate Robert Shwartzman (R-ace GP). Red Bull Junior Team driver Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport) was the quickest among the rookies.
Fenestraz in front of a R-ace GP trio
While Will Palmer (R-ace GP), Thomas Randle (AVF by Adrián Vallés), Alexander Vartanyan (JD Motorsport), Alex Peroni (Fortec Motorsports), Yifei Ye (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Sacha Fenestraz all took turns at the top of the time sheet, Max Defourny took over and lowered the mark several times.
The Belgian was dislodged by Sacha Fenestraz 4 minutes form the chequered flag. The Frenchman dominated the first session with a lap of 1:55.983 to lead from Max Defourny, Will Palmer, Robert Shwartzman and the fastest rookie, Yifei Ye.
Defourny gets the last word
In the afternoon, Daniel Ticktum led early before answering the efforts of Robert Shwartzman, Sacha Fenestraz and Will Palmer. With 10 minutes left in the session, Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing) and Max Fewtrell (Tech 1 Racing) launched the final sprint before the response from Sacha Fenestraz.
Max Defourny did even better with a time of 1:55.324 to hold on in front of Sacha Fenestraz and Robert Shwartzman. The rookies Daniel Ticktum and Max Fewtrell completed the top five.
Max Defourny (R-ace GP): “It was a rather positive day. We were well prepared this morning then we just worked on the a few things for the afternoon. We need to keep doing what we are doing tomorrow. The objective will be to get our first victory of the year, which we are very hungry for! We will give it our all, because our goal is still the same: the title at the end of the season. To do this, we need to win as many races as possible, while also being as consistent as we can.”
Sacha Fenestraz (Josef Kaufmann Racing): “We had a good end to our pre-season tests in March in beating the track record. I have more confidence here than other tracks, especially since the team knows very well the Nürburgring. It was a perfect morning to start the weekend, but then we saw that Max Defourny was very fast, which isn’t a surprise. The gaps are very small. We were by just .05s behind. Tomorrow will be the most important day. The team and I will work to make the car better, but overall the collective tests were solid.”
Daniel Ticktum (Arden Motorsport): “After our win at the Hungaroring, we have worked flat out to continue to improve our car. I think we have made some more progress. The Nürburgring is a circuit that suits my driving style. I said the same thing about Budapest, but I really like the Nürburgring! We will have to see where we are in qualifying, but the collective tests were quite good with no particular worries. I am confident for the rest of the weekend.”