William BullerBritish team Carlin have completed a strong final pre-season GP3 test this week, ahead of the first race of the season in Barcelona next month. Carlin racer Antonio Felix da Costa has been consistently among the top three and finished yesterday’s running second overall. William Buller and Alex Brundle were also on the pace, setting the fifth and 14th quickest times yesterday.

The final pre-season test at the historic British circuit provided drivers with the last opportunity to prepare for the 2012 GP3 Series before the season gets underway in Barcelona in May. As the cars took to the cold track on for the first day of testing on Tuesday morning, rain looked a likely possibility. However the skies cleared and it was da Costa who quickly set the quickest time in between red flag periods. Team mates Brundle and Buller were also producing great times on the dry track – easily placing them within the top eight.

As the session came to a halt for lunch da Costa’s time was knocked off the top spot by MW Arden driver Mitch Evans meaning that the Carlin man finished the session in a very strong second position. Also having set fast times throughout the session Buller and Brundle finished comfortably in the top 6, setting the fourth and sixth quickest laps respectively.

The afternoon session saw mixed weather conditions with rain falling toward the tail end of the day, meaning the majority of the quickest times from the morning session still stood. At the end of the first day of running da Costa was third overall, Buller fifth and Brundle eighth.

The second and final day of testing was also marred with mixed conditions leading to multiple red flags. The slippery track didn’t worry da Costa however, who set the fastest time and despite others battling to steal his position, the Carlin driver finished the morning session as the quickest man on track. Buller was also on the pace again and made it two Carlin cars in the top five, while Brundle saw both his new tyre runs ruined by red flags and was 14th quickest.

Da Costa’s best lap from the morning session was enough to make his second fastest of the day overall, just behind MW Arden driver Mitch Evans.

Reflecting on the test, the Portuguese racer said, “It was a really good test for us at Silverstone. The car felt quick in all conditions and on new and old tyres which is encouraging. I still feel like we can make some improvements but we’re in really good shape ahead of the first race of the season and I can’t wait to get to Barcelona.”

Trevor Carlin added, “The team have completed an extremely encouraging test at Silverstone this week, and all three drivers have been amongst the front runners at some point. Antonio’s previous experience in the series is clearly paying off, and Alex and Will have continued to improve with every session in the car. With a very strong GP3 driver line-up now confirmed, the team are pushing harder than ever as we head to the first race of the season confident that we have a good package to challenge for race wins.”