Abt classified winner of shortened race
|2.||A. Felix da Costa||+0.321|
1 September 2012 – Daniel Abt is celebrating his maiden GP3 victory at Spa, courtesy of an impressive double overtake on António Félix da Costa and Mitch Evans. In an already shortened race because of the GP2 delay, this encounter lasted for less than nine minutes as red flags flew when Robert Cregan suffered a heavy accident at Pouhon corner.
Race 1 at Round 7 at Spa-Francorchamps was scheduled to be 12 laps but due to an earlier delay, the race was cut to a maximum of twenty-five minutes. MW Arden teammates Evans and Matias Laine started from the front row and it was Laine who made the better getaway grabbing P1 from the New Zealander. The first lap contained plenty of action with Marussia Manor Racing's Tio Ellinas making a great start from tenth on the grid to rise to fifth and split the Lotus GP pair of Abt and Conor Daly.
Evans wasn't going to wait around whilst Laine led and the Series leader regained control by passing the Finn to go P1. Laine made a mistake after braking late and ran wide which cost him three places. Felix Da Costa started to hunt his title rival down and the duo had a great battle with the Portuguese driver finding a way through to head into the lead.
Evans wasn't ready to give in so easily and fought back, and as they tussled for P1, Abt saw his opportunity and made a fantastic manoeuvre on the pair in front. Whilst Felix Da Costa concentrated on keeping Evans at bay, they both braked late, Abt flew past them on the inside and then held the momentum as he continued to hold them off on the outside in what can only be described as a brave and fantastic overtake.
Abt had half a second advantage over the chasing pair, with Ellinas in P4, ahead of Laine, Vainio and Williamson. Ocean Racing Technology's Robert Cregan had a premature end to his race after a crash at turn 10 into the tyre barrier. Firstly the safety car was deployed, however the race was soon red flagged and not restarted.
Therefore the positions remained as they were on lap four which saw Abt record his maiden victory in his rookie season which delighted the German after missing out in Hockenheim. Felix Da Costa continued his excellent run of form with second place and also pocketed the fastest lap, whilst Evans finished P3 to maintain his advantage in the Drivers Standings. Ellinas, Laine, Aaro Vainio, Daly, Lewis Williamson, Giovanni Venturini and Alex Fontana completed the top ten.
Half points were given today, therefore Evans increases his points lead to Vainio, with a gap of now 24.5 points. Felix Da Costa is catching the Finn with 112 with Abt close in pursuit with 106.5. Lotus GP lead the Teams Standings on 313.5, MW Arden are second with 261.5 and Carlin third on 149.
Reverse Pole goes to Williamson.
Sunday’s Race 2 begins at 9:25am local time (BST +1)