Aaro Vainio controls first Monaco GP3 race for Lotus

Aaro Vainio claimed his first GP3 victory on the category's debut in Monaco to take the lead in the championship

Aaro Vainio controls first Monaco GP3 race for Lotus

The Finn, driving for the ART-run Lotus GP team, converted his maiden pole position into the lead at the start. He extended his margin over Atech CRS driver Tamas Pal Kiss, who jumped front-row starter Kevin Ceccon (Ocean) off the grid, to 3.6 seconds by the end of lap six and looked on course for a comfortable victory.

Kiss then mounted an attack, reeling off several fastest laps to close the gap to under two-and-a-half seconds by the end of lap 10. But that was as close as he got during this mid-race pursuit and Vainio was able to close out his win comfortably, easing off markedly on the final lap and winning by 1.9s.

It was a typically processional Monaco race, with the top 13 not changing between the end of the first and the final laps. Ceccon, who set fastest lap on the final tour, had a lonely run to third ahead of David Fumanelli, who had to resist the advances of MW Arden team-mate Mitch Evans in the early stages.

Lotus driver Daniel Abt finished sixth despite pressure from Antonio Felix da Costa (Carlin), while behind them Marlon Stockinger bagged pole position for Saturday's reversed grid race by finishing eighth in his Status entry.

Alex Brundle, son of 1994 Monaco Grand Prix runner-up Martin, finished 10th for Carlin, while Conor Daly (Lotus), a winner on the opening weekend of the GP3 season, was classified 23rd after a jump-start penalty compounded a disastrous getaway that had already left him near the back at the end of the opening lap.

Results - 18 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Aaro Vainio Lotus 27m06.685s 2. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS + 1.994s 3. Kevin Ceccon Ocean + 10.519s 4. David Fumanelli MW Arden + 16.156s 5. Mitch Evans MW Arden + 17.789s 6. Daniel Abt Lotus + 18.169s 7. Antonio Felix da Costa Carlin + 18.548s 8. Marlon Stockinger Status + 20.440s 9. Tio Ellinas Manor + 20.733s 10. Alex Brundle Carlin + 25.083s 11. Alice Powell Status + 26.084s 12. Will Buller Carlin + 29.591s 13. Kotaro Sakurai Status + 31.319s 14. Robert Visoiu Jenzer + 31.612s 15. Fabiano Machado Manor + 34.249s 16. Dimitry Suranovich Manor + 34.851s 17. John Wartique Atech CRS + 47.648s 18. Robert Cregan Ocean + 57.033s 19. Vicky Piria Trident + 59.726s 20. Antonio Spavone Trident + 1m00.765s 21. Matias Laine MW Arden + 1m02.454s 22. Jakub Klasterka Jenzer + 1m03.565s Retirements: Conor Daly Lotus 17 laps Patric Niederhauser Jenzer 8 laps Ethan Ringel Atech CRS 8 laps Carmen Jorda Ocean 5 laps 
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Aaro Vainio beats Kevin Ceccon to pole for GP3's Monaco debut

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Series FIA F3
Author Edd Straw
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