Barcelona GP3: Ellinas fends off Niederhauser and Daly for win
|By Charles Bradley||Saturday, May 11th 2013, 16:04 GMT|
Cypriot 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.
Once 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 Retirements: Driver Team Laps Dino Zamparelli Manor 14 Patrick Kujala Koiranen 10 Josh Webster Status 6