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Niederhauser wins race two for Jenzer in GP3 at Valencia street circuit

Patric Niederhauser, Jenzer, GP3, ValenciaPatric Niederhauser won the second GP3 Series race of the weekend at the Valencia Street Circuit in Spain on Sunday morning. It was his maiden victory in the category and it also makes him the fifth different winner from six races.

From pole on the reversed grid, Swiss driver Niederhauser got a shock when Lotus GP's Daniel Abt made a lightning getaway from third. Abt led through Turn 1, but Niederhauser retook the lead at Turn 2 and pulled away.

Reigning Formula Abarth champion Niederhauser, who is a first-year driver in GP3, extended his lead to 1.8s by half distance, and then controlled the gap, which was 0.9s at the finish.

Behind Abt, there was a fierce battle for third. It will be decided in the stewards room, but on the track it was Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor) who took the position. He forced longtime third-place man Kevin Ceccon of Ocean off the track after a huge lunge at the final corner on the last lap. Ceccon dropped to fifth, as Mathias Laine (Arden) also leapt ahead on the run to the finish line.

Previously, Ellinas and Ceccon had banged wheels through the opening corners of the final lap, so there will be plenty for the stewards to mull over before making a decision on whether the result stands.

Yesterday's winner Mitch Evans, celebrating his 18th birthday, finished sixth to double his championship lead over title rival Aaro Vainio of Lotus to four points. Vainio, who started ahead of him, lost out to Evans in the opening corners, but got ahead with a smart move at Turn 4 on lap 3, which levelled their points.

But a move on Laine, which would have given him the points lead, went wrong at Turn 2, and after outbraking himself, he grazed the barrier as Evans shot past him. Vainio finished a distant seventh, ahead of Carlin's Antonio Felix da Costa, who set fastest lap on a brilliant drive from the back of the grid after he was given a 10-place grid penalty for a misdemeanour yesterday.

Results - 14 laps:

Pos  Driver                  Team          Time/Gap
 1.  Patric Niederhauser     Jenzer    + 28m13.702s
 2.  Daniel Abt              Lotus         + 0.924s
 3.  Tio Ellinas             Manor         + 5.938s
 4.  Matias Laine            MW Arden      + 6.314s
 5.  Kevin Ceccon            Ocean         + 6.589s
 6.  Mitch Evans             MW Arden      + 6.940s
 7.  Aaro Vainio             Lotus         + 9.959s
 8.  Antonio Felix da Costa  Carlin       + 15.020s
 9.  Will Buller             Carlin       + 19.751s
10.  Tamas Pal Kiss          Atech CRS    + 23.761s
11.  Marlon Stockinger       Status       + 24.396s
12.  Robert Visouiu          Jenzer       + 26.251s
13.  Robert Cregan           Ocean        + 26.330s
14.  Alex Brundle            Carlin       + 28.954s
15.  Dmity Suranovich        Manor        + 33.481s
16.  David Fumanelli         MW Arden     + 34.148s
17.  Antonio Spavone         Trident      + 37.558s
18.  Vicky Piria             Trident      + 46.606s
19.  Fabiano Machado         Manor        + 56.689s


     Conor Daly              Lotus           8 laps
     John Wartique           Atech CRS       2 laps
     Carmen Jorda            Ocean           0 laps
     Ethen Ringel            Atech CRS       0 laps
     Alice Powell            Status          0 laps

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