Varhaug becomes first GP3 winner
|By Mark Glendenning||Saturday, May 8th 2010, 16:09 GMT|
Pal 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 Retirements: 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