Kvyat takes victory in dramatic GP3 race
24 August 2013 – Daniil Kvyat negotiated an incident-strewn opening GP3 race at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday afternoon, the Russian driver leading home Conor Daly and Facu Regalia in a final sector shootout following an extended late Safety Car period.
The start saw a delayed reaction from pole-sitter Carlos Sainz Jr., clearing the way for Kvyat to lead on the run down to Eau Rouge. A fast-starting Daly slotted into second position, with Sainz Jr. and ART team-mate Jack Harvey just behind.
The Safety Car made its first appearance as the trackside marshals attempted to clear the stricken machine of Dino Zamparelli from the main straight, with the Briton unable to pull away from the grid after stalling as the lights went out.
Kyvatt made a good restart, but his charge was immediately cut short by the redeployment of the Safety Car as a result of a collision between Patric Niederhauser and Adderly Fong. Careless driving from Fong led to the Chinese driver locking up after attempting an extremely late overtaking manoeuvre into La Source, slamming straight into the side of Niederhauser’s Jenzer Motorsport machine.
Daly kept Kvyat a little more honest on the second restart, pulling alongside down the Kemmel Straight, but was unable to make the definitive move at Les Combes.
Kvyat’s win was effectively sealed after a huge crash involving Harvey and Sainz Jr. brought out the Safety Car for the third and final time with four laps remaining. Having run side-by-side towards Les Combes, Harvey moved across the track, clipping his Arden rival at high speed. Sending himself careering into the barriers, the resulting impact was forceful enough to rip the rear axle and gearbox from his ART car.
With no changes of position as the Safety Car came back in on the final lap, Kvyat was able to hold on to claim his maiden GP3 victory, with Daly and Regalia rounding out the rostrum finishers. Alexander Sims, Nick Yelloly and Melville McKee completed the top six, while Ellinas led home Robert Visoiu and Zamparelli to finish eighth.
Sunday's second GP3 race begins at 9.25am local time (GMT +2)