Frijns wins action-packed opening race
11 May 2013 – Hilmer Motorsport's Robin Frijns took a commanding Feature Race victory at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday, guiding the newly-created team to its maiden GP2 triumph while a number of his rivals were caught up in accidents. Carlin driver Felipe Nasr came home in second position, with Jolyon Palmer completing the podium.
Having started from eighth position, Frijns pulled off a perfect tyre strategy, swapping the Soft rubber for a set of Hard tyres on the sixth lap. With a selection of cars ahead opting for a long first stint on the harder compound, the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 Champion bided his time before chaos ensued when the strategies mixed on-track.
Pole-sitter Marcus Ericsson, who led the early stages, effectively handed the lead to Frijns when he collided with Sam Bird. The DAMS driver retired on the spot, with his Dutch rival surging clear and never looking back. Second-place finisher Nasr did his best to steal victory in the closing stages, but could not quite cut the leading gap.
Palmer held on to take third amid a scramble with series returnee Jon Lancaster, Stefano Coletti and Tom Dillmann, but is due to be investigated by the stewards after effectively pushing Bird out of the race at Turn 4. Alexander Rossi and Kevin Ceccon were next up, while Johnny Cecotto Jr. and Rio Haryanto claimed the final points.
James Calado retired after a start line clash with Fabio Leimer, who wound up 18th, while Nathanaël Berthon put himself and Sergio Canamasas out of the race when he flew over the back of Dillmann - who was lucky to escape unharmed - at Turn 10.
Sunday's Sprint Race at Barcelona begins at 9.35am local time (GMT +2)