Mitch Evans wins GP3 opener in Spain
12 May 2012 – New Zealand’s Mitch Evans, many people’s GP3 title tip for 2012, has opened his account with victory in Barcelona on Saturday. The MW Arden driver took the chequered flag from the Philippines’ Marlon Stockinger and Finland’s Aaro Vainio, with pole-sitter António Félix da Costa tumbling down the order to 14th.
Following on from Formula 1 qualifying and the resumption of the GP2 season, it was finally GP3’s turn to battle on a still warm but now somewhat cloudier afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya.
As the red lights went out, German Daniel Abt amazingly seized the lead from a starting position of seventh on the grid; however, it was soon deemed that both he and Félix da Costa had jumped the start. Behind, Ethan Ringel and Britain’s Alice Powell – one of three female drivers in the race – both retired after carnage broke out in the middle of the pack.
Staying out of trouble and capitalising from the penalties, Evans – a close friend of Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and living right next-door to the Australian in Britain - duly took the lead, going on to win by 2.6 seconds as American Conor Daly finished sixth from a front row start. Alex Brundle, son of F1 driver turned television commentator Martin, completed the top ten on his GP3 debut.
With the top eight finishers now reserved for tomorrow’s grid, Evans drops back to Row 4 as Romania’s Robert Visoiu is promoted to pole position for Jenzer.
Race 2 takes place at 9:25am (BST +1) on Sunday