New Zealander Mitch Evans raced to his third win of his GP3 career at the Valencia Street Circuit in Race 1. After starting from pole, Evans also claimed the fastest lap making it a perfect start to his weekend in Spain. Aaro Vainio finished in second with David Fumanelli (MW Arden) achieving a career first GP3 podium.
Evans made a clean getaway and retained P1 while Vainio got the jump on Fumanelli to sneak into P2. Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) made a great start from fifth on the grid and by the end of the first lap he was into third, displacing Fumanelli. It was a lively start with Robert Visoiu (Jenzer Motorsport) running into the back of Tamas Pal Kiss which ended his race prematurely. Status Grand Prix also had a nightmare at the beginning of their race after Alice Powell made contact with the rear of teammate Marlon Stockinger which brought them both into the pits. Stockinger rejoined a lap down with Powell also losing a lot of time.
Conor Daly who started in P16 after a ten place grid penalty received a penalty for a jump start after he had moved up to P13 in the race. Antonio Felix Da Costa (Carlin), starting from P24 after a technical infringement from qualifying, moved up to 12th position but after trying to pass Dmitry Suranovich (Marussia Manor Racing) on the inside, the pair made contact which forced them both to retire.
Evans continued to lead Vainio and held a steady one second advantage for the majority of the race while further down the field, the action was fierce. All eyes were on the tasty battle between Kevin Ceccon (Ocean Racing Technology) and Daniel Abt, with the Italian keen to find a way past the German. Ceccon was trying every line and managed to get through on the inside on several occasions only to outbrake himself and have to give the position back.
Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport) who started in P15 progressed through the pack and reached P9. The action intensified with a battle between William Buller (Carlin), Niederhauser and Pal Kiss (Atech CRS GP) with the Hungarian finding a way through on the Brit. In the final laps, Evans pulled out a two second margin over Vainio as he headed home to his second win of the 2012 season. Fumanelli was on a mission in the final laps and charged through on Ellinas to steal P3 and his secure his maiden rostrum. The Cypriot finished fourth, his best result in the Series so far, ahead of Matias Laine (MW Arden), Abt, Ceccon, Niederhauser, Pal Kiss and Buller who completed the point scoring finishers.
Evans now heads the Drivers Standings on 74 points, 2 ahead of Vainio.
Reverse Pole will be Patric Niederhauser for Race 2 which takes place at 09.25 CET tomorrow morning.
Valencia – Race 1
Pos Driver Team 1. Mitch Evans MW Arden 2. Aaro Vainio Lotus GP 3. David Fumanelli MW Arden 4. Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 5. Matias Laine MW Arden 6. Daniel Abt Lotus GP 7. Kevin Ceccon Ocean Racing Technology 8. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport 9. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS GP 10. William Buller Carlin 11. Conor Daly Lotus GP 12. John Wartique Atech CRS GP 13. Carmen Jorda Ocean Racing Technology 14. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS GP 15. Robert Cregan Ocean Racing Technology 16. Alex Brundle Carlin 17. Vicky Piria Trident Racing 18. Alice Powell Status Grand Prix 19. Marlon Stockinger Status Grand Prix
DNF Dmitry Suranovich Marussia Manor Racing Antonio Felix Da Costa Carlin Robert Visoiu Jenzer Motorsport Fabiano Machado Marussia Manor Racing Antonio Spavone Trident Racing
Fastest Lap : Mitch Evans – MW Arden : 1 :59.883 on lap 12
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