Rio Haryanto took his second GP3 victory of the 2011 season in a rain affected race at Hungaroring today. The Marussia Manor Racing driver finished just ahead of the charging Lotus ART pair of Valtteri Bottas and James Calado.
RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Nigel Melker started from pole in the wet Race 2 conditions and held onto the lead when the lights went out ahead of Addax Team’s Tom Dillmann. MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson and Jenzer Motorsport’s Nico Müller were locked in battle for third, with Tech 1 Racing’s Aaro Vainio and Haryanto slotting in behind. Meanwhile at the back Calado made his way up from twenty-fifth to eleventh in the first lap.
Lap 2 saw Williamson spin out the race, and it also saw the first of two safety cars when Jenzer Motorsport’s Vittorio Ghirelli crashed out. Haryanto took Müller for third on the re-start, with Bottas now in seventh and Calado behind Maxim Zimin in ninth.
Melker had his lead up to 7.9 seconds by the second safety car period on Lap 12, after Thomas Hylkema crashed his Tech 1 Racing car. Haryanto attacked Melker straight away at the re-start to take the lead, and by the end of the lap the Dutchman had lost two more spots to Bottas and Dillmann.
With the checkered flag in sight Calado continued his excellent race effort to work his way through the field and in to the points. One final push saw him take Dillmann and Müller for the final podium spot behind Haryanto and teammate Bottas. Melker had to settle for fourth followed by Dillmann in fifth and Antonio Felix Da Costa in the final points paying position for Status Grand Prix. After starting last on the grid due to a penalty Alexander Sims drove his way up to eleventh, but the former Series leader came away with no points from the weekend.
Bottas now leads the GP3 Series™ driver standings by seven points ahead of Alexander Sims.
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