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DATE News (chronologically)
08/28/10
gp3
Wickens wins at rain soaked Spa
Robert Wickens has not given up on title hopes: starting from pole position, he managed to keep the lead after having damaged his nose cone under torrential downpour and took the win after the clock counted down. Series leader Esteban Gutierrez having finished fifth, the Canadian can still hope to chase the Mexican for the GP3 Series title.   

The Race 1 at Spa started with a bang: while Wickens pulled away from pole at the starting lights keeping Adrian Quaife-Hobbs at bay, Josef Newgarden stalled on the grid and mayhem ensued. Doru Sechelariu was the first casualty having to swerve to avoid the stranded Carlin car and ending up in the start/finish straight wall. At the same time, Status GP’s Daniel Morad and Tech 1 Racing’s Stefano Coletti then collided going into turn one, only for Morad to then clash with Addax Team’s Pablo Sanchez Lopez. Atech CRS GP’s Vittorio Ghirelli and Manor Racing’s Adrian Tambay were next to spin and the first safety car of the race was deployed for the next lap.  

At the restart on lap three, leaders Wickens and Quaife-Hobbs pulled away with Merhi holding on to third spot having benefitted from the start mayhem and moving up from 11th  on the grid. But by lap 4 of the 12 lap race the heavens opened and what was a damp track became drenched in seconds. Gutiérrez already fifteenth from having started 27th on the grid was first to pit for wet tires on lap five, a strategy that prove to be a smart move. Race leader Wickens opted to keep going on slicks only to spin along the start and finish straight. The Canadian hit the wall and damaged the front of his car but managed to rejoin. 

Meanwhile Renger van der Zande and Antonio Felix da Costa clashed at the entrance to turn one ending both of their races. Whilst van der Zande limped away, Felix da Costa was hit by a spinning Ivan Lukashevich. More chaos came with many cars struggling to stay on track and the safety car was deployed.       

Wickens was still leading the shortened pack ahead of Leonardo Cordiero and Pal Varhaug then in tow, Gutierrez in seventh. With thirty seconds left on the clock, the safety car came in. The Status racer at a slow pace headed for the finish line and passed the checkered flag with no seconds left on the clock, scoring a precious win to keep his title hopes alive. Even a last move that gave him fifth place, Gutierrez could not claim the crown today. Wickens has closed the championship gap on Gutiérrez by eight points and is now 22 points behind the Mexican with 27 points still up for grabs. Nico Müller’s championship hopes ended after he finished the race in seventh spot. 

The action continues with Race 2 tomorrow at 09:25 local time.

Results

Pos No.

DRIVER

TEAM

LAPS

TIME

1

4

R. WICKENS

Status Grand Prix

9

30:10.463

2

22

L. CORDEIRO

MW Arden

9

30:10.858

3

23

P. VARHAUG

Jenzer Motorsport

9

30:10.945

4

29

R. MERHI

Atech CRS GP

9

30:10.982

5

2

E. GUTIERREZ

ART Grand Prix

9

30:14.420

6

9

A. QUAIFE-HOBBS

Manor Racing

9

30:14.557

7

25

N. MULLER

Jenzer Motorsport

9

30:14.678

8

28

D. JUNCADELLA

Tech 1 Racing

9

30:15.420

9

15

D. SMITH

Carlin

9

30:16.141

10

3

P. NUNES

ART Grand Prix

9

30:16.511

11

24

S. TRUMMER

Jenzer Motorsport

9

30:18.203

12

21

M. MONRAS

MW Arden

9

30:19.102

13

20

M. CHRISTENSEN

MW Arden

9

30:20.745

14

12

T. HEGEWALD

RSC Muecke Motorsport

9

30:21.395

15

10

N. MELKER

RSC Muecke Motorsport

9

30:21.756

16

1

A. ROSSI *

ART Grand Prix

9

30:34.749

17

30

O. OAKES

Atech CRS GP

9

30:41.262

18

8

R. HARYANTO *

Manor Racing

9

32:00.689

NC

16

A. FELIX DA COSTA

Carlin

6

15:50.479

11

R. VAN DER ZANDE

RSC Muecke Motorsport

6

15:52.541

5

I. LUKASHEVICH

Status Grand Prix

6

16:02.686

17

F. GUIMARAES

Addax Team

5

13:31.882

19

M. BORTOLOTTI *

Addax Team

5

13:50.644

27

S. COLETTI

Tech 1 Racing

1

4:25.857

6

D. MORAD

Status Grand Prix

0

14

J. NEWGARDEN

Carlin

0

31

V. GHIRELLI

Atech CRS GP

0

7

A. TAMBAY

Manor Racing

0

18

P. SANCHEZ LOPEZ

Addax Team

0

26

D. SECHELARIU

Tech 1 Racing

0

FASTEST LAP

25

N. MULLER

Jenzer Motorsport

2:13. 498 on lap 5

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