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Rossi dominates GP3 sprint race

Alexander Rossi on the Catalunya podiumART's Alexander Rossi took a dominant win in this morning's GP3 Series sprint race at Barcelona.

Rossi started from pole and led the entire race, but the decisive move came on the lap four restart following an early safety car when the American took off early, and second-placed Lucas Foresti simply failed to follow him. By the time he crossed the start/finish line Rossi already had a 0.6-second lead, and a string of successive fastest laps extended that to 10.5s by the end of the race.

While Foresti did not have the speed to trouble Rossi, the Carlin driver had enough defensive nouse to make sure that no one else could do it either. ART's Esteban Gutierrez launched a series of attacks for second, culminating in a brave move around the outside of Turn 5 that ended with the Mexican running wide and dropping to fourth behind Tech 1's Jean-Eric Vergne.

Inexplicably though, Vergne was issued with a drivethrough penalty for forcing a rival off the track shortly afterwards, which promoted Gutierrez back up to third, although he had to see off a late challenge from Status' Robert Wickens to hold on to it.

Dean Smith finished fifth, with Pedro Nunes edging out James Jakes for the final point.

It was a disastrous morning for feature race winner Pal Verhaug, who was forced wide onto the grass by Wickens on the run down to the first corner. The Norwegian spun back onto the circuit and into the path of the unfortunate Mirko Bortolotti, whose miserable weekend was completed when he ploughed into the Jenzer car, putting both out of the race and prompting a safety car intervention to clean the mess up.

Pos  Driver                Team         Time/Gap
 1.  Alexander Rossi       ART        27m06.594s
 2.  Lucas Foresti         Carlin      + 10.535s
 3.  Esteban Gutierrez     ART         + 11.005s
 4.  Robert Wickens        Status      + 11.699s
 5.  Dean Smith            Carlin      + 14.154s
 6.  Pedro Nunes           ART         + 17.082s
 7.  James Jakes           Manor       + 17.537s
 8.  Simon Trummer         Jenzer      + 18.346s
 9.  Nico Muller           Jenzer      + 18.937s
10.  Oliver Oakes          Atech CRS   + 24.906s
11.  Daniel Juncadella     Tech 1      + 28.248s
12.  Leonardo Cordeiro     MW Arden    + 30.092s
13.  Tobias Hegewald       RSC Mucke   + 30.625s
14.  Nigel Melker          RSC Mucke   + 30.880s
15.  Pablo Sanchez         Addax       + 31.398s
16.  Josef Newgarden       Carlin      + 31.989s
17.  Patrick Reiterer      Atech CRS   + 34.349s
18.  Michael Christensen   MW Arden    + 34.685s
19.  Ivan Lukashevich      Status      + 37.257s
20.  Felipe Guimaraes      Addax       + 38.196s
21.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Tech 1      + 40.869s
22.  Daniel Morad          Status      + 43.081s
23.  Miki Monras           MW Arden    + 44.023s
24.  Renger van der Zande  RSC Mucke   + 48.749s
25.  Rio Haryanto          Manor       + 56.584s
26.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs   Manor         + 1 lap


     Doru Sechelariu       Tech 1     5 laps
     Pal Varhaug           Jenzer     0 laps
     Mirko Bortolotti      Addax      0 laps
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