Hingham’s Team Air Asia on the GP2 pace

Norfolk's GP2 new boys Team Air Asia made a big impression by topping the time sheets on the final afternoon of pre-season testing in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

The Hingham-based outfit – which represents Formula One constructors Team Lotus in the category's feeder series – will take to the first GP2 Asia Series race of the season, and their first in the sport, on Friday in high spirits after Davide Valsecchi and Brazilian Luiz Razia took P1 and P2 respectively.

Team manager Phill Spencer: 'It's beyond all expectations to be first and second fastest at the end of four days of testing with a brand new crew – it's just unbelievable for me and I feel a bit emotional.

'But it's going to be hard going from now on. People will expect us to stay there, and we have to believe we can run at the front. We will enjoy the moment and push on to make sure we can stay up there.'

Italian driver Valsecchi – who competed in the GP2 Main Series for Team Air Asia's Norfolk rivals, Carleton Rode's Isport International – and Razia completed 58 laps apiece.

Group Lotus-backed ART saw Jules Bianchi top Valsecchi's time in the morning session, while Isport's current driver line-up – Sam Bird and Marcus Ericsson – were third and fourth respectively following the afternoon's duties.

Norfolk's trio of GP2 teams was completed by Griston's Super Nova Racing, who saw Johnny Cecotto and Group Lotus Renault's F1 reserve driver Fairuz Fauzy finish 14th and 16th respectively in the day's second session.