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Gutierrez wins GP3 title
Mexican Esteban Gutierrez
Esteban Gutiérrez has been crowned the inaugural GP3 Series champion after claiming pole with the perfect lap at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

Mexican ace Esteban Gutierrez proved this morning that he was a worthy champion: his mission for qualifying was to claim pole position – his third of the season – to clinch the inaugural GP3 crown. He kept his cool and put his head down to complete a flying lap in a 1:43.425, almost three tenths clear from Renger van der Zande.

In the first half of the final qualifying session of the season, it wasn’t the ART man who was dominating though as Jenzer Motorsport’s Nico Müller set the pace early, closely followed by local man Mirko Bortolotti. Dutch van der Zande, Gutierrez, Josef Newgarden and then title contender Robert Wickens were also quick straight out the pits, but Müller looked strong and it wasn’t until the final ten minutes of the session that things really heated up on track.

After the field all pitted for new tires at the half mark, Müller was quick to get straight back on the pace around the legendary track posting a time of 1:44. 305. Van der Zande was keeping up with the Swiss driver, and Wickens looked to be a contender for pole after posting the fourth quickest time, improving with every lap. But it didn’t take long for Gutierrez to stamp his authority on the session and in the dying minutes, the ART Grand Prix driver set his quickest time of the session so far three tenths faster than Müller and just before a yellow flag ruined his rivals’ attempts to better the Series’ leader’s lap time.

With five minutes left on the clock all cars were out on track desperate to catch the Mexican, but a spinning Daniel Juncadella brought out new yellow flags and pole-hopefuls were forced to abort their flying laps again – it was only new Champion Gutiérrez and RSC Mucke Motorsport’s Nigel Melker that managed to skip the disruption. Gutiérrez went even quicker for good measure. Just as the track was cleared and with two minutes left in the session Alexander Rossi, who was pushing hard and improving in the first two sectors, went off at Parabolica causing yet another yellow.   

When the track cleared, the remaining drivers had just one last gasp attempt to claim the top spot, with Wickens pushing hard to try and keep his championship hopes alive, but it wasn’t to be. Stuck in traffic, Wickens was down in seventeenth spot and could only managed to haul his Status car up into fifth place – his hopes of being crowned championed dashed.

As so the champion and top ten were decided: Gutiérrez took pole and let his joy explode in the parc fermé where team Champions ART Grand Prix greeted him with open arms and big smiles. Van der Zande was second and Müller third. Name Hegewald finished fourth ahead of Wickens who will now defend his second place in the Series during today’s Race 1. Atech CRS GP’s Roberto Merhi. Josef Newgarden, Nigel Melker, Daniel Morad and Rio Haryanto rounded out the top ten. 

The action continues today with Race 1 at 17:20 local time with Gutierrez hoping to score his fifth win to go along with his brand new shiny crown.


1 2 E. GUTIERREZ ART Grand Prix 1:43.425 15 0.000
2 11 R. VAN DER ZANDE RSC Muecke Motorsport 1:43.713 16 0.288
3 25 N. MULLER Jenzer Motorsport 1:43.788 16 0.363
4 12 T. HEGEWALD RSC Muecke Motorsport 1:43.891 15 0.466
5 4 R. WICKENS Status Grand Prix 1:43.940 15 0.515
6 29 R. MERHI Atech CRS GP 1:43.971 14 0.546
7 14 J. NEWGARDEN Carlin 1:43.980 14 0.555
8 10 N. MELKER RSC Muecke Motorsport 1:44.040 15 0.615
9 6 D. MORAD Status Grand Prix 1:44.097 15 0.672
10 8 R. HARYANTO Manor Racing 1:44.109 16 0.684
11 7 J. JAKES Manor Racing 1:44.170 14 0.745
12 17 F. GUIMARAES Addax Team 1:44.225 14 0.800
13 24 S. TRUMMER Jenzer Motorsport 1:44.370 15 0.945
14 3 P. NUNES ART Grand Prix 1:44.422 15 0.997
15 30 O. OAKES Atech CRS GP 1:44.460 14 1.035
16 26 D. SECHELARIU Tech 1 Racing 1:44.462 14 1.037
17 19 M. BORTOLOTTI Addax Team 1:44.540 14 1.115
18 16 L. FORESTI Carlin 1:44.548 14 1.123
19 18 P. SANCHEZ LOPEZ Addax Team 1:44.560 15 1.135
20 9 A. QUAIFE-HOBBS Manor Racing 1:44.609 16 1.184
21 23 P. VARHAUG Jenzer Motorsport 1:44.728 15 1.303
22 22 L. CORDEIRO MW Arden 1:44.736 15 1.311
23 28 D. JUNCADELLA Tech 1 Racing 1:44.810 9 1.385
24 21 M. MONRAS MW Arden 1:44.898 15 1.473
25 20 M. CHRISTENSEN MW Arden 1:44.902 15 1.477
26 15 D. SMITH Carlin 1:45.098 14 1.673
27 31 V. GHIRELLI Atech CRS GP 1:45.184 13 1.759
28 1 A. ROSSI ART Grand Prix 1:45.353 12 1.928
29 27 S. COLETTI Tech 1 Racing 1:45.378 14 1.953
30 5 I. LUKASHEVICH Status Grand Prix 1:45.991 14 2.566

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