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Rio Haryanto wins frenzied wet race
Rio Haryanto
Rio Haryanto took his first GP3 Series victory of the season today in a wet and wild race at Nürburgring. The Marussia Manor Racing driver finished ahead of MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson and Lotus ART’s Valtteri Bottas after an epic battle to the line which saw the lead change constantly during the final few laps with the top 3 fighting on slick tires on a wet track.       

Drama ensued when light rain started to fall as the young drivers lined up on the starting grid. At the front of the field poleman Mitch Evans and Antonio Felix Da Costa both took a gamble and switched to wet tires before the start of the race, as did fourth place man Addax Team’s Tom Dillmann.

As the lights went out Evans went wide but held on to his lead. Behind the New Zealander Haryanto moved up into second as it quickly became clear that Felix Da Costa was going nowhere fast on wets as the rain stopped. By the end of sector 1 Evans was leading from Haryanto and Williamson – who moved up five spots at the start – while the Portuguese driver was already down to sixth. Bottas had a storming start from eleventh on the grid and was soon fighting for the final podium spot.

Felix Da Costa’s race was to go from bad to worse as the Status driver was given a ten second stop and go penalty for not having his wheels fitted at the three minute race start warning.  As the rest of the drivers tried to find their rhythm in the tricky conditions Evans was holding onto his lead by 1.1 seconds from Williamson who had passed Haryanto, and Bottas was in third. But any hopes the New Zealander had of becoming the first GP3 driver to win two races this season were dashed when midway through the race he was also handed a ten second stop and go penalty for the same reason as Felix da Costa. Evans eventually rejoined the race down in twenty-fourth handing the lead to Williamson.

For the final 5 laps of the race the heavens opened and an epic battle for the victory begun. Leader Williamson, Haryanto and Bottas all opted to stay out on track on slicks while most of the field entered the pits to change to wets. And as it turned out, fortune favored the brave. The battle saw the lead change multiple times but it was Haryanto who eventually hung on to the top spot. Williamson crossed the line in second and despite a last minute charge from his teammate James Calado, Bottas took the final podium spot. Race 2 will see an all front row for Tech 1 Racing with Tamas Pal Kiss lining up on pole ahead of Aaro Vainio.

Next up for GP3 Series is Race 2 tomorrow morning at 08:20 local time.

1 11 R. HARYANTO INA Marussia Manor Racing 15 29:48.703 0.000s
2 28 L. WILLIAMSON GBR MW Arden 15 29:51.107 2.404
3 2 V. BOTTAS FIN Lotus ART 15 29:51.886 3.183
4 3 J. CALADO GBR Lotus ART 15 29:52.314 3.611
5 10 A. QUAIFE-HOBBS GBR Marussia Manor Racing 15 29:53.651 4.948
6 14 C. DALY USA Carlin 15 30:06.926 18.223
7 17 A. VAINIO FIN Tech 1 Racing 15 30:08.395 19.692
8 19 T. PAL KISS HUN Tech 1 Racing 15 30:10.090 21.387
9 27 S. TRUMMER SUI MW Arden 15 30:12.338 23.635
10 31 N. MELKER NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 15 30:21.521 32.818
11 6 I. LUKASHEVICH RUS Status Grand Prix 15 30:26.257 37.554
12 4 A. SIMS GBR Status Grand Prix 15 30:27.728 39.025
13 9 V. GHIRELLI ITA Jenzer Motorsport 15 30:33.062 44.359
14 12 M. LAINE FIN Marussia Manor Racing 15 30:35.862 47.159
15 7 N. MULLER SUI Jenzer Motorsport 15 30:40.631 51.928
16 21 N. YELLOLY GBR Atech CRS GP 15 30:48.159 59.456
17 16 L. CORDEIRO BRA Carlin 15 30:50.009 61.306
18 18 T. HYLKEMA NED Tech 1 Racing 15 30:54.568 65.865
19 1 P. NUNES BRA Lotus ART 15 30:57.999 69.296
20 26 M. EVANS NZL MW Arden 15 30:58.376 69.673
21 8 M. ZIMIN RUS Jenzer Motorsport 15 31:09.172 80.469
22 22 Z. AMBERG SUI Atech CRS GP 15 31:10.747 82.044
23 23 T. DILLMANN FRA Addax Team 15 31:11.624 82.921
24 25 D. SMITH GBR Addax Team 15 31:27.917 99.214
25 29 L. BACHETA GBR RSC Mucke Motorsport 15 33:11.222 202.519
26 30 M. CHRISTENSEN DEN RSC Mucke Motorsport 14 28:08.389 DNF
27 24 G. CHAVES COL Addax Team 14 28:45.474 DNF
28 5 A. FELIX DA COSTA POR Status Grand Prix 14 30:10.178 1 LAP
29 15 C. MACLEOD GBR Carlin 14 30:42.458 1 LAP
30 20 M. STOCKINGER PHI Atech CRS GP 11 21:32.735 DNF
FL 28 L. WILLIAMSON GBR MW Arden - 1:50.985 -
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