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Mitch Evans was able to convert his pole position into victory during the first GP3 race of the weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday afternoon, leading every lap of the race to cross the line just under two seconds ahead of Britain’s James Calado. Aaro Vainio came home in third, grabbing his first podium finish of the 2011 season.
"I’m really happy with the way things went," Evans commented. "The only downside is that I have to start eighth tomorrow, but I can live with that little difficulty. I don’t know what track conditions will be like, but the target will be to pick up a few places and finish in the points. It’s very satisfying to score a victory so early in my GP3 career and I’d like to extend a big round of thanks to the team for all its hard work."
As the race got underway in sunny conditions Evans was able to hold onto his lead, keeping the charging Tech 1 Racing pair of Andrea Caldarelli and Vainio behind at the first corner. Calado quickly took advantage of the battle at the French squad, climbing up to second place after successfully grasping the opportunity to make progress.
Alexander Sims was an early retirement after making contact with Maxim Zimun, limping back to the pit lane while the Russian came to a halt at the side of the track. Back at the front, Evans was edging out a gap to Calado behind and reached the chequered flag first with relative ease. Tech 1 Racing duo Caldarelli and Vainio were fighting again for third, but the latter kept his nerve to secure a place on the rostrum.
Behind the top four, Nico Müller ended his race in fifth place, just ahead of Nigel Melker who sees his championship lead cut to just one point over Caldarelli. Dean Smith and Tamas Pal Kiss occupied seventh and eighth respectively, while Vittorio Ghirelli and Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top ten.
Sunday's Barcelona Sprint Race begins at 9.25am local time (BST +1)
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|1.||M. Evans||MW Arden||27:19.175|
|2.||J. Calado||Lotus ART||+1.885|
|3.||A. Vainio||Tech 1||+7.224|
|4.||A. Caldarelli||Tech 1||+7.432|
|6.||N. Melker||RSC Mücke||+8.574|
|8.||T. Kiss||Tech 1||+10.328|
|10.||V. Bottas||Lotus ART||+13.495|
|GP3: Spain 2011|
|22 May '11||Latest GP3 photos: Sunday at the Circuit de Catalunya|
|22 May '11||Pal Kiss wins second race in Barcelona|
|21 May '11||Latest GP3 photos: Saturday at the Circuit de Catalunya|
|21 May '11||Evans secures maiden GP3 win|
|21 May '11||Evans steals pole in Barcelona|
|15 Jan||Evans remains with Arden for GP2 graduation|
|22 Oct '12||Evans praises sound of new GP3 car|
|11 Sep '12||Pirelli presents Evans with €200,000 prize|
|9 Sep '12||Evans becomes Champion as Ellinas wins at Monza|
|7 Sep '12||Evans on top in first Italian practice|
|16 May||Three-day Abu Dhabi test for GP2 and GP3|
|3 May||Williamson gets final Bamboo seat|
|3 May||Cullen completes Marussia GP3 line-up|
|26 Apr||Bamboo signs McKee for 2013 season|
|25 Apr||Daly retains seat with ART Grand Prix|
|More Mitchell Evans photos|