GP3 Series leader Aaro Vainio set the pace in the forty-five minute practice session at the Valencia Street Circuit for Round 3 of the 2012 Series. The session got underway with a track temperature of 23 degrees in very muggy and windy conditions as the MW Arden trio were first to take to the track. The circuit was very dusty to begin with as the drivers set their installation laps and cleared away the material as the times began to quicken.
Mitch Evans led the way for the start of the session, ahead of Ocean Racing Technologys Kevin Ceccon and Matias Laine. The Carlin duo of William Buller and Antonio Felix Da Costa soon shot up to P2 and P3 after 15 minutes of practice had run until Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) snuck into second.
Felix Da Costa then moved to the top of the timesheets with Marlon Stockinger (Status Grand Prix) jumping up to P2. At the midway point, Evans then reclaimed his position back at the head of the timings until Vainio set the quickest time of the session in a hard fought practice as the drivers were getting to grips with the challenge of the tight and twisty street circuit.
Cypriot driver Ellinas rose up to P1 with ten minutes remaining on the clock, but Finnish driver Vainio had other ideas and produced the best laptime in practice of 2:00.094 with five minutes left. His Lotus GP teammate Conor Daly was also on a charge and went P2 ahead of Ellinas, Evans, Felix Da Costa, Ceccon and Stockinger. David Fumanelli was 8th with Alice Powell putting in her best lap on her final attempt to shoot up to P9 ahead of Buller.