Quaife-Hobbs takes maiden GP3 victory

Marussia Manor Racing’s Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took his maiden GP3 Series victory today, after a flying start from the Brit saw him take the lead when the lights went out. MW Arden locked out the rest of the podium with Lewis Williamson finishing second and Mitch Evans third.

Quaife-Hobbs stormed off the line to pass both Addax Team’s Dean Smith and polesitter Williamson before the first corner. Status Grand Prix didn’t have a good start to the race; Alexander Sims received a 10 spot grid penalty before the race was underway for a collision in qualifying, and before the first lap was over both Antonio Felix Da Costa and Ivan Lukashevich were in the pits. A brief safety car period ensued after different incidents on lap 1 saw MW Arden’s Simon Trummer, Jenzer’s Maxim Zimin and Tech 1 Racing’s Thomas Hylkema retire from the race.

The safety was out for just one lap before the field was back to racing. Quaife-Hobbs held onto his lead at the re-start, followed by Smith, Williamson, Evans, Gabby Chaves, Lotus ART’s Valtteri Bottas and the Finn’s teammate James Calado. Alexander Sims was on a charge; the Brit had already moved from P16 to P11 in the first lap and was soon challenging Dillmann for P8. Sims eventually made the pass, but there was contact between the two in the process.

Back at the front Quaife-Hobbs had the race under control, and Smith was running in a lonely second. Meanwhile teammates Williamson and Evans were locked in a battle for the final podium spot which would continue until the chequered flag. Sims had found a way past Calado for seventh and had his sights firmly set on Bottas. Just two laps from the end Sims found himself in a Lotus ART sandwich as Calado took advantage of the battle and moved up behind to try and gain back his lost position. Sims was eventually victorious in the three-way fight, with Bottas and Calado slotting into seventh and eighth.

By the end of the last lap Quaife-Hobbs was 6.5 seconds in the lead of the race and took a dominant first win. Dean Smith’s Addax car slowed during the final lap and the Brit missed out a podium spot. The MW Arden duo of Williamson and Evans capitalized to take the final two steps on the podium followed by Chaves in fourth. Smith finished fifth ahead of a well recovered Sims in sixth, Bottas and Calado who will start Race 2 tomorrow from reverse-pole. Evans’ podium moves the MW Arden driver into the lead of Series with 23 points, 1 point ahead of Melker.

Race 1 results:

1 10 A. QUAIFE-HOBBS GBR Marussia Manor Racing 14 28:49.603
2 28 L. WILLIAMSON GBR MW Arden 14 28:56.150 6.547
3 26 M. EVANS NZL MW Arden 14 28:57.009 7.406
4 24 G. CHAVES COL Addax Team 14 29:01.006 11.403
5 25 D. SMITH GBR Addax Team 14 29:03.918 14.315
6 4 A. SIMS GBR Status Grand Prix 14 29:06.625 17.022
7 2 V. BOTTAS FIN Lotus ART 14 29:08.421 18.818
8 3 J. CALADO GBR Lotus ART 14 29:08.942 19.339
9 21 N. YELLOLY GBR Atech CRS GP 14 29:16.440 26.837
10 16 L. CORDEIRO BRA Carlin 14 29:17.945 28.342
11 22 Z. AMBERG SUI Atech CRS GP 14 29:25.615 36.012
12 14 C. DALY USA Carlin 14 29:26.834 37.231
13 9 V. GHIRELLI ITA Jenzer Motorsport 14 29:26.844 37.241
14 20 M. STOCKINGER PHI Atech CRS GP 14 29:28.958 39.355
15 15 D. MORAD CAN Carlin 14 29:29.734 40.131
16 19 T. PAL KISS HUN Tech 1 Racing 14 29:31.222 41.619
17 12 M. LAINE FIN Marussia Manor Racing 14 29.32.303 42.700
18 29 L. BACHETA GBR RSC Mucke Motorsport 14 29:37.671 48.068
19 11 R. HARYANTO INA Marussia Manor Racing 14 29:48.537 58.934
20 23 T. DILLMANN FRA Addax Team 14 30:01.767 72.164
31 N. MELKER NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 8 17:14.757 DNF
17 A. VAINIO FIN Tech 1 Racing 3 6:58.183 DNF
1 P. NUNES BRA Lotus ART 3 6:58.798 DNF
7 N. MULLER SUI Jenzer Motorsport 1 2:22.423 DNF
30 M. CHRISTENSEN DEN RSC Mucke Motorsport 1 2:37.948 DNF
6 I. LUKASHEVICH RUS Status Grand Prix 0 DNF
8 M. ZIMIN RUS Jenzer Motorsport 0 DNF
5 A. FELIX DA COSTA POR Status Grand Prix 0 DNF
18 T. HYLKEMA NED Tech 1 Racing 0 DNF
10 A. QUAIFE-HOBBS GBR Marussia Manor Racing 1:59.663 Lap 8

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