Matsushita closes out GP2 post-season test quickest

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Honda youngster Nobuharu Matsushita closed out the final day of GP2’s post-season test in Abu Dhabi at the top of the timesheets for ART Grand Prix.

Matsushita helped ART win the teams’ championship in GP2 this year, claiming one race win and two further podium finishes in his debut season.

The Japanese racer is set to remain with ART in GP2 for 2016 thanks to its ties with McLaren, who Honda powers in Formula 1.

Across the three days of testing at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, Matsushita topped three of the four sessions he took part in, posting a fastest time of 1:48.313 on Friday.

Matsushita went four-tenths of a second quicker on Wednesday, but the fastest time of the three days of testing was set by Nicholas Latifi on Thursday afternoon for DAMS.

The test saw a number of drivers enjoy a taste of GP2 machinery ahead of a possible move up to the series in 2016, including DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein, F3 drivers Felix Rosenqvist and Antonio Giovinazzi, and GP3 drivers Jimmy Eriksson, Emil Bernstorff, Luca Ghiotto and Alex Fontana.

GP3 has also been testing at Yas Marina over the past three days, with FIA F3 graduate Charles Leclerc setting the pace for ART.

Leclerc, 18, is widely regarded as being one of motorsport’s future stars, and has been tipped to join Ferrari’s Driver Academy for 2016. A report from motorsport.com has also linked the Monegasque racer with a development role at Haas F1 Team for 2016.