Adrian Quaife-HobbsAutoGP World Series Champion Adrian Quaife-Hobbs completed around 115 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona this week (30&31 October), finishing the final GP2 Series session on Wednesday afternoon with the second fastest time.

Running with the Barwa Addax Team, Quaife-Hobbs quickly acclimatised to the 600bhp powerhouse on the opening day, consistently lapping within half a second of the front runners, to finish seventh in both sessions.

In cool but dry conditions at the Spanish track, Quaife-Hobbs was among a 27-car line-up contesting the first of two post-season tests, and was one of several rookie drivers taking part. In both sessions on Tuesday, the former Formula Renault and GP3 race winner was fastest of the newcomers.

The 21 year-old, who dominated the 2012 AutoGP season to win the title with two rounds remaining, resumed track activity on Wednesday, when track conditions were severely hampered by heavy rainfall. Despite that, the Tonbridge racer was immediately on the pace, running second in the morning session before a red flag period ended his charge, dropping him to sixth at the conclusion of the session.

Later that day, Quaife-Hobbs returned to fine form, running in the top half a dozen for much of the session, before a scintillating lap allowed him to jump to second, on only his first flying lap on new rubber. With the red flag thrown once again, bringing the session to a premature close, Quaife-Hobbs was unable to challenge for the overall fastest time, however remained confident of being able to improve further.

“On the first day there were a lot of red flags but I was reasonably happy with seventh and being top rookie’ said Adrian. “I used two sets of tyres in the morning and only one in the afternoon, on my first lap on new rubber I set the fastest first sector of everyone but then the red flag was thrown and at the restart the best of the tyres had gone.

“The second day was very wet, we waited for a while hoping it would dry up, but by 11am it was obvious it wasn’t going to improve, so we headed out and straight away I was second fastest. I pitted for new tyres and waited for it dry but the red flag came out again and I ended up sixth. During the lunch break the track started to dry so I did a few runs on old tyres to make a few tweaks to improve the balance.

“When I went out on new tyres, I went straight out and posted the second fastest time. I never got to use the second set as the red flag came out once again, but I’m pretty sure I could have improved by around half a second as I know there was more time to be found.

“The Barwa Addax Team was very good, I felt very comfortable with them right from the start and I think they were happy with me too. Hopefully we can have another good outing in three weeks time with the next two-day GP2 test.”

Adrian will next take to the track in the final post-season GP2 test, which takes place at Jerez, Spain driving for Arden. Bringing his 2012 season to a close, the AutoGP World Series Champion will then undertake shake down testing of the 2013 specification AutoGP car at a two-day test in Barcelona on 6&7 December.