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GP3 NEWS 

Mitch Evans dominates Valencia GP3 race one

Mitch Evans, Arden, Valencia 2012Mitch Evans dominated the first GP3 Series race of the weekend at the Valencia Street Circuit in Spain on Saturday.

Evans led from start to finish from pole position in his MW Arden entry, a perfect performance that wrests the points lead from erstwhile top man Aaro Vainio of Lotus GP, who finished second. Vainio kept the gap to under a second in the first half of the race, but Kiwi Evans extended this to 2.4s by the start of the final lap, and he coasted home 2.1s ahead by the chequered flag for his second victory of the season.

Evans is now two points clear of Vainio in the championship, thanks to setting the fastest lap of race in Valencia to take a maximum points haul of 31.

Evans's team-mate David Fumanelli lost his front-row starting position by Turn 1, as Vainio steamed past, and then Tio Ellinas (Manor) further demoted him to fourth at Turn 2.

Fumanelli fought back and pulled off a sublime switchback overtaking move on Ellinas at Turn 12 on lap 13 to secure the final place on the podium, but was over 10s in arrears of the leaders by the finish.

The third Arden car of Mathias Laine finished fifth, after pulling away from a huge battle between Daniel Abt (Lotus) and Kevin Ceccon (Ocean) that required a photo finish to decide the position in Abt's favour.

Lotus's Conor Daly, who was stung with a 10-place grid penalty following his Monaco adventures, then further complicated matters by jumping the start but battled back from a drive-through penalty to finish 11th.

Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer) will start Sunday's reversed-grid race from pole, as he finished eighth after winning a fierce battle with Carlin's Will Buller.

Results - 14 laps:

Pos  Driver                  Team          Time/Gap
 1.  Mitch Evans             MW Arden    28m13.357s
 2.  Aaro Vainio             Lotus         + 2.190s
 3.  David Fumanelli         MW Arden     + 12.571s
 4.  Tio Ellinas             Manor        + 13.483s
 5.  Matias Laine            MW Arden     + 16.515s
 6.  Daniel Abt              Lotus        + 18.748s
 7.  Kevin Ceccon            Ocean        + 18.833s
 8.  Patric Niederhauser     Jenzer       + 24.335s
 9.  Tamas Pal Kiss          Atech CRS    + 27.082s
10.  Will Buller             Carlin       + 31.834s
11.  Conor Daly              Lotus        + 32.279s
12.  John Wartique           Atech CRS    + 33.476s
13.  Carmen Jorda            Ocean        + 47.838s
14.  Ethen Ringel            Atech CRS    + 52.330s
15.  Robert Cregan           Ocean        + 54.192s
16.  Alex Brundle            Carlin     + 1m14.964s
17.  Vicky Piria             Trident    + 1m18.561s
18.  Alice Powell            Status     + 1m31.587s
19.  Marlon Stockinger       Status         + 1 lap

Retirements:

     Dmity Suranovich        Manor           2 laps
     Antonio Felix da Costa  Carlin          2 laps
     Fabiano Machado         Manor           0 laps
     Robert Visouiu          Jenzer          0 laps
     Antonio Spavone         Trident         0 laps
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