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Varhaug becomes first GP3 winner

Pal Verhaug wins at CatalunyaPal Varhaug became the GP3 Series' first-ever winner after a measured drive at the Circuit de Catalunya this afternoon.

The Jenzer Motorsport driver capitalised on an awful start by polesitter Nigel Melker to take the lead, and then saw off a challenge from Status' Robert Wickens.

The Canadian continued to harass Varhaug during the opening sequence of laps until he began to come under threat himself from Esteban Gutierrez.

The scrap for second allowed Varhaug some breathing space late in the race and he went on to secure the win by 1.5s, while Wickens spent the closing laps fighting off repeated attacks from Gutierrez, eventually crossing the line just 0.3s clear of the ART driver.

Dean Smith, Jean-Eric Vergne, Simon Trummer, Lucas Foresti and Alexander Rossi completed the top eight, the latter having done an outstanding job of working his way through the field after starting 28th following his spin early in qualifying.

Mirko Bortolotti also made solid progress after a mechanical problem forced him to start from the rear of the grid, the Italian working his way up to 16th in the Addax car.

Things went from bad to worse for Melker though; the Dutchman being one of several drivers to be eliminated in opening lap incidents.

Pos  Driver                Team         Time/Gap
 1.  Pal Varhaug           Jenzer     26m58.573s
 2.  Robert Wickens        Status       + 1.563s
 3.  Esteban Gutierrez     ART          + 1.958s
 4.  Dean Smith            Carlin       + 3.446s
 5.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Tech 1       + 6.722s
 6.  Simon Trummer         Jenzer       + 8.734s
 7.  Lucas Foresti         Carlin      + 13.604s
 8.  Alexander Rossi       ART         + 14.208s
 9.  James Jakes           Manor       + 15.847s
10.  Miki Monras           MW Arden    + 16.628s
11.  Daniel Juncadella     Tech 1      + 16.958s
12.  Pedro Nunes           ART         + 17.750s
13.  Nico Muller           Jenzer      + 18.814s
14.  Oliver Oakes          Atech CRS   + 20.305s
15.  Renger van der Zande  RSC Mucke   + 21.773s
16.  Mirko Bortolotti      Addax       + 22.066s
17.  Tobias Hegewald       RSC Mucke   + 23.168s
18.  Leonardo Cordeiro     MW Arden    + 28.733s
19.  Ivan Lukashevich      Status      + 29.238s
20.  Rio Haryanto          Manor       + 31.131s
21.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs   Manor         + 1 lap
22.  Doru Sechelariu       Tech 1        + 1 lap


     Patrick Reiterer      Atech CRS  12 laps
     Josef Newgarden       Carlin     2 laps
     Pablo Sanchez         Addax      2 laps
     Michael Christensen   MW Arden   2 laps
     Nigel Melker          RSC Mucke  0 laps
     Daniel Morad          Status     0 laps
     Felipe Guimaraes      Addax      0 laps
     Vittorio Ghirelli     Atech CRS  0 laps
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