DS Virgin’s Sam Bird took the spoils in the only practice session of the day as Tom Dillmann suffered issues for the second consecutive day.

With this session being the only practice session before qualifying and a six-lap longer race, teams headed into the session with a variety of objectives to achieve over a 45 minute spell, and it was DS Virgin’s rookie driver Alex Lynn who put in the first 200kw lap of the session to go to the summit early on before Jaguar’s Mitch Evans demoted him to P2 a couple of minutes later.

just under fifteen minutes into the session, Tom Dillmann clipped the wall in his Venturi to bring out the first red flag of the session as the damage sustained to his front left meant he was unable to continue. With opening runs complete for all twenty drivers, Maro Engel led the way from Evans, Lynn, di Grassi and Gasly as the session went back to green with twenty-two minutes remaining.

Everyone piled out onto the track for the remaining twenty minutes as Jean-Eric Vergne rose to the summit with fifteen minutes left, whilst Mahindra Racing continued to look strong as Nick Heidfeld put his Mahindra P3.

As the session came to a close, 200kw laps were going in left, right and centre as Bird demoted Vergne to P2 before the session ended prematurely due to contact between Andretti’s Robin Frijns and the wall at Turn 10.

Bird finished the session on top with a 1m02.209s ahead of Vergne, Engel, Turvey and Piquet Jr in fifth.

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