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Patric Niederhauser wins rain-delayed Hockenheim GP3 race for Jenzer

Hockenheim GP3 podiumPatric Niederhauser won the ninth round of the GP3 Series at Hockenheim for Jenzer Motorsport on Saturday afternoon, following a lengthy red flag and safety car period for rain.

After a downpour just before the start, the race began on time behind the safety car, with the field on a mixture of slick and wet tyres. It was clearly wet-weather rubber conditions, so poleman Daniel Abt (Lotus) dived into the pits at the end of lap one, followed by points leader Mitch Evans (MW Arden) and the dozen or so others who had started on slicks.

That left Conor Daly's wet-shod Lotus car in the lead, ahead of similarly-tyred Niederhauser and Kevin Ceccon (Ocean), the leaders of the 15 cars that started on wets. But as the rain intensified, the red flag was shown.

Following the rain delay, the race was restarted - after another lengthy safety car period - for the remaining seven laps. Although Daly had a 0.5-second lead, Niederhauser quickly latched onto his gearbox and pulled off a superb attacking move, which ended at the Mercedes Arena with him grasping the lead.

A succession of fastest laps allowed him to extend a 1.8s lead, which Daly then trimmed to 0.6s by the chequered flag. Ceccon finished a distant third, ahead of Trident's Giovanni Venturini. Matias Laine took fifth, just holding title challenger Aaro Vainio at bay.

Evans could only recover to ninth, outside the points, so Vainio closes the gap at the top of the standings to five points. Poleman Abt finished eighth, giving him pole for Sunday's reversed-grid race too.

Results - 14 laps:

Pos  Driver                  Team         Time/Gap
 1.  Patric Niederhauser     Jenzer     45m51.078s
 2.  Conor Daly              Lotus        + 0.693s
 3.  Kevin Ceccon            Ocean        + 5.361s
 4.  Giovanni Venturini      Trident      + 8.841s
 5.  Matias Laine            MW Arden    + 11.353s
 6.  Aaro Vainio             Lotus       + 11.983s
 7.  Tamas Pal Kiss          Atech CRS   + 12.555s
 8.  Daniel Abt              Lotus       + 13.415s
 9.  Mitch Evans             MW Arden    + 13.983s
10.  Will Buller             Carlin      + 14.205s
11.  Tio Ellinas             Manor       + 18.564s
12.  Robert Cregan           Ocean       + 22.297s
13.  David Fumanelli         MW Arden    + 22.889s
14.  Lewis Williamson        Status      + 24.264s
15.  Vicky Piria             Trident     + 29.081s
16.  Alex Brundle            Carlin      + 29.303s
17.  Dmitry Suranovich       Manor       + 29.696s
18.  Marlon Stockinger       Status      + 31.067s
19.  Ethan Ringel            Atech CRS   + 38.233s
20.  Alice Powell            Status      + 42.018s
21.  Robert Visoiu           Jenzer      + 42.719s
22.  Carmen Jorda            Ocean       + 56.621s


     Antonio Felix da Costa  Carlin         9 laps
     Fabiano Machado         Manor          8 laps
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