Status Grand Prix’s Alexander Sims won a lights-to-flag victory from pole position at Istanbul Park today.
In what was an action packed race full of overtaking maneuvers, Alexander Sims made the perfect getaway and kept a cool head to build up a comfortable lead during the 16-lap race. Sims’ teammate Antonio Felix Da Costa stormed off the line from fourth and made up two spots to take second from RSC Mucke Motorsport’s Michael Christensen. MW Arden’s Mitch Evans slotted into fourth ahead of Lotus ART’s Valtteri Bottas.
With Sims putting in fastest laps at the front, the rest of the field were left to battle for the remaining two podium spots. Yesterday’s race winner Nigel Melker was the man on the move – the Dutchman made up one spot at the start and was quickly fighting his way through the field. A battle with Tech 1 Racing’s Andrea Caldarelli ensued for sixth, and Melker then set his sights on a struggling Valteri Bottas in fifth. The Finn from Lotus ART lost three places in quick succession as Caldarelli and Dean Smith also found their way past.
The Mucke duo of Christensen and Melker continued to make their way through the field, and both made quick work of passing Evans for third and forth respectively. By lap 12 as the race entered the final stages, Sims was comfortably in the lead by over four seconds, but what hope the Irish team had for a one-two finish were dashed as Da Costa went wide allowing both Christensen and Melker to slip past.
With Sims now 7.4 seconds in the lead the podium all but written, Da Costa and Caldarelli battled it out in the final laps for fourth spot. The Portuguese driver kept the Italian behind him ahead of Addax Team’s Smith who had made his way through the field from ninth on the grid, Evans, Bottas, Tom Dillmann and Rio Haryanto in tenth.
Melker leaves Istanbul heading the drivers’ championship by three points from Caldarelli. RSC Mucke Motorsport is six points ahead of Status Grand Prix in the teams’ championship.
The GP3 Series will be back on track in two weeks for Round 2 in Barcelona.
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