Niederhauser takes maiden win in Valencia
24 June 2012 – Jenzer Motorsport’s Patric Niederhauser scored his first GP3 Series victory in Race 2 at the Valencia Street Circuit, ahead of Lotus GP driver Daniel Abt and Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas.
Abt made a great start to briefly pass Niederhauser for the lead but the Swiss driver managed to edge back passed to take the lead. Kevin Ceccon of Ocean Racing Technology dropped to third while Ellinas past Matias Laine for fourth place.
Britain’s Alice Powell found herself involved in a crash with Lotus GP’s Conor Daly and John Wartique of Atech CRS GP, putting all three drivers out the race on the opening lap. Championship leader Mitch Evans, who was racing on his 18th birthday, managed to pass his title rival Aaro Vainio on track.
The battle between the title challengers continued as Vainio managed to pass the New Zealander. However, Vainio missed his braking point when trying to pass Evans’ MW Arden team-mate Matias Laine, allowing Evans to repass.
The final lap saw Ceccon and Ellinas battle for the last spot on the podium and on the final corner Ellinas made a move up the inside and the two made wheel to wheel contact, resulting in Ceccon finishing fifth. Niederhauser came home to take the victory ahead of Abt who also achieved his best result in the series.
Evans now leads the drivers’ standings by four points over Vainio, with Abt now in third place. Mark Webber’s MW Arden still lead the team standings on 151 points ahead of Lotus GP on 139.
The next round of the GP3 Series takes place on the 6-8 July at Silverstone.