CANCER survivor Dean Stoneman began his full-time single-seater comeback with a positive two-day test and debut for the Marussia Manor Racing GP3 team.

Stoneman began with an impressive lap time of 1.29.73 in Portugal, which was the second-quickest time of the first day and just three tenths of a second off the fastest driver. His hopes of going even quicker were dashed as heavy rain hit the circuit. But Dean the chance was the quickest in the wet, and his time of 1:29.335 placed him sixth quickest on the second day; just seven tenths off the quickest time.

The Southampton-based driver was satisfied with his first outing with the team. He said: “We came here knowing we had to get the car set up. I have never been to this circuit before so I’m happy we adapted quickly. The weather over the two days didn’t help much but at least the rain allowed me to see how the car is in both the wet and dry conditions and get a chance to try a range of set-up options. I think the team did an excellent job and it all looks very positive for the coming season.”

Stoneman’s attentions now turn to the next official GP3 test at Jerez in southern Spain on April 10/11.