Evans wins crash-affected second race
22 July 2012 – Kiwi Mitch Evans extended his championship lead by winning the second GP3 race of the weekend at Hockenheim. However, the event was marred by two series airborne accidents which left Vicky Piria and Fabiano Machado with injuries.
Sunday morning and the Hockenheim paddock was greeted to glorious sunshine and warm temperatures, very unlike Saturday’s changeable and tricky weather conditions. Reverse pole went to Evans with local fans favourite Daniel Abt starting in P2, eager to win his home race.
As the lights went out for the start of Race 2, it was the German driver who made one his trademark lightning getaways to snatch the lead with Evans having to defend from Támas Pál Kiss. Further back, there was a dramatic accident involving four drivers: both of the Status GP cars of Lewis Williamson and Alice Powell, Carlin’s Will Buller and Trident Racing’s Vicky Piria. It was a nasty shunt, with Piria’s car being sent skywards and leaving a lot of debris around the circuit. The Safety Car was deployed to clear away the material, whilst title challenger António Félix Da Costa also had a premature end to his race after stopping at Turn 1.
The race got back underway on Lap 8 and Evans was keen to make amends and get P1 back from Abt. The MW Arden driver passed the Lotus GP rookie on the inside at the hairpin to reclaim the lead. The action didn’t stop there, though, with Fabiano Machado running wide a lap later and going airborne and landing with a large jolt whilst the medical team checked him out. The Safety Car was brought out for a second time and the 15 laps were completed behind the Mercedes, as Evans took the chequered flag first for the third time this season and for good measure he also set the fastest lap.
Abt finished P2, ahead of Daly, Pál Kiss, Matias Laine and Vainio. Tio Ellinas and Giovanni Venturini completed the top 8 and the final points scores. Evans leads the drivers’ standings with an 18-point advantage over Vainio. Abt has now moved up to third and is the highest placed rookie in the series.
GP3 continues in Hungary next weekend