Stanaway triumphs on debut weekend
28 August 2011 – Richie Stanaway converted his reverse-grid pole into victory at a dry Spa this morning, dominating Race 2 to win on his debut GP3 weekend. The New Zealander recovered from a slow getaway to regain his lead on the opening lap, before taking the chequered flag comfortably ahead of Lotus ART team-mate James Calado and Nico Müller.
A slow start by Stanaway allowed Müller to jump ahead at La Source, but a strong exit from Eau Rouge saw the newcomer move back into the lead before Les Combes. The 19-year-old, who is leading the German F3 title race, went on to pull away from his rivals, with the top three quickly finding themselves well ahead at the front of the field.
Calado was one of the biggest movers on the opening lap by climbing up to fifth from seventh, before making a bold but impressive move on Adrian Quaife-Hobbs to steal third. The Briton went on to grab the second podium spot from Müller before the end of the race, but failed to reel in new team-mate Stanaway who led from start to finish.
Denmark’s Michael Christensen was next up behind the first three men to make the finish, crossing the line over 16 seconds behind winner Stanaway. Simon Trummer and Alex Fontana ensured three Swiss drivers made the top six, while Conor Daly and Ivan Lukashevich headed a large train of cars in seventh and eighth respectively.
The GP3 season finale takes place at Monza in a fortnight's time