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Barcelona GP3: Ellinas fends off Niederhauser and Daly for win

Tio Ellinas wins Barcelona GP3 raceCypriot Tio Ellinas won the first race of the second-generation GP3 Series at Barcelona on Saturday afternoon, fending off late-race pressure from Patric Niederhauser and Conor Daly.

Poleman Ellinas stormed into the lead at the start in his Marussia machine, and quickly pulled away from Jenzer's Niederhauser.

He extended a 3.8-second lead by half distance, but pre-race predictions that the 17-lap race would be decided by tyre management turned out to be true.

Niederhauser closed the gap relentlessly in the second half of the race, and with three laps to go Ellinas's big lead had all but disappeared.

But try as he might, Niederhauser just could not find a way past over the closing few laps as he too struggled for grip having caught up.

Ellinas held on to win by 0.428s, with ART man Daly, who was almost 5s in arrears at one point, also within a second of the victor at the chequered flag.

Nick Yelloly finished a distant fourth, having been caught up behind Red Bull Junior Daniil Kvyat for the opening eight laps.

Tio Ellinas leads Barcelona GP3 raceOnce past him, Yelloly pulled well clear, with Kvyat dropping like a stone to 20th by the finish as his tyres turned to mush.

Aaro Vainio finished fifth, ahead of Jack Harvey, who just held off David Fumanelli for sixth.

Kevin Korjus, who would have started from pole but for a yellow flag transgression in practice, finished eighth and will start Sunday's reversed-grid race from pole.

Dino Zamparelli was challenging Korjus for that spot when he misjudged a move at Turn 5 and flew over the back of him, removing his right-front wheel.

Results - 17 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team          Time/Gap
 1.  Tio Ellinas          Manor       28m06.022s
 2.  Patric Niederhauser  Jenzer        + 0.428s
 3.  Conor Daly           ART           + 0.940s
 4.  Nick Yelloly         Carlin        + 9.726s
 5.  Aaro Vainio          Koiranen     + 16.925s
 6.  Jack Harvey          ART          + 23.006s
 7.  David Fumanelli      Trident      + 23.572s
 8.  Kevin Korjus         Koiranen     + 28.615s
 9.  Robert Visoiu        MW Arden     + 29.053s
10.  Alex Fontana         Jenzer       + 29.426s
11.  Lewis Williamson     Bamboo       + 29.669s
12.  Giovanni Venturini   Trident      + 30.832s
13.  Luis Sa Silva        Carlin       + 37.044s
14.  Melville McKee       Bamboo       + 37.277s
15.  Carlos Sainz Jr      MW Arden     + 51.669s
16.  Samin Gomez          Jenzer       + 51.949s
17.  Emanuele Zonzini     Trident      + 52.325s
18.  Eric Lichtenstein    Carlin       + 52.759s
19.  Jimmy Eriksson       Status       + 53.858s
20.  Daniil Kvyat         MW Arden   + 1m08.691s
21.  Ryan Cullen          Manor      + 1m09.967s
22.  Carmen Jorda         Bamboo     + 1m10.626s
23.  Adderly Fong         Status     + 1m14.398s
24.  Facu Regalia         ART           + 2 laps


        Driver           Team              Laps
        Dino Zamparelli  Manor               14
        Patrick Kujala   Koiranen            10
        Josh Webster     Status               6

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