Home Z - Archive seriesGP3 Ellinas holds on to beat Niederhauser to GP3 opener win

Ellinas holds on to beat Niederhauser to GP3 opener win

by Peter Allen

Photo: Alastair Staley/GP3 Media Service

Tio Ellinas got his GP3 title bid off to the best possible start by winning the first race of the season from pole-position, fighting off intense pressure from rival Patric Niederhauser in the final laps.

The Marussia Manor driver got a great start and quickly opened up a good lead over Niederhauser, going as far as 3.8 seconds clear at one stage. Niederhauser then brought the gap back down to nothing with three laps left, but Ellinas managed to stay ahead despite having no life left in his tyres. Conor Daly also managed to close on the duo and finished on their tail in third.

The other story of the race was Daniil Kvyat?s struggles with the tyres. The Russian enjoyed a good start and got past Nick Yelloly for fourth on the first lap but quickly overused his tyres keeping the Brit behind. Yelloly eventually got past on lap nine and Kvyat began plummeting down the order, finishing all the way down in 20th place. Fellow Red Bull Junior Carlos Sainz had similar problems and finished where he started in 15th.

Aaro Vainio finished fifth for newcomers Koiranen GP, ahead of British F3 champion Jack Harvey.

Facu Regalia had been racing his ART team-mate Harvey during the early laps, but had to take avoiding action when Kevin Korjus, the fastest man in qualifying, locked up at turn ten. David Fumanelli capitalised to overtake both of them and finish up seventh, with Korjus coming home in eighth place and securing pole position for Sunday?s race after a penalty prevented him taking up first place on the grid for the first.

Dino Zamparelli had been having a strong race and was looking to pass Korjus for eighth before locking up himself and hitting the Estonian and finishing up in the gravel. Robert Visoiu inherited ninth with Alex Fontana in tenth.

Race results
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 17 laps 28:06.022
2 Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport +0.428
3 Conor Daly ART Grand Prix +0.940
4 Nick Yelloly Carlin +9.726
5 Aaro Vainio Koiranen GP +16.925
6 Jack Harvey ART Grand Prix +23.006
7 David Fumanelli Trident +23.572
8 Kevin Korjus Koiranen GP +28.615
9 Robert Visoiu MW Arden +29.053
10 Alex Fontana Jenzer Motorsport +29.426
11 Lewis Williamson Bamboo Engineering +29.669
12 Giovanni Venturini Trident +30.832
13 Luis Sa Silva Carlin +37.044
14 Melville McKee Bamboo Engineering +37.277
15 Carlos Sainz Jr MW Arden +51.699
16 Samin Gomez Jenzer Motorsport +51.949
17 Emanuele Zonzini Trident +52.325
18 Eric Lichtenstein Carlin +52.759
19 Jimmy Eriksson Status Grand Prix +53.858
20 Daniil Kvyat MW Arden +68.961
21 Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing +69.967
22 Carmen Jorda Bamboo Engineering +70.828
23 Adderly Fong Status Grand Prix +74.398
24 Facu Regalia ART Grand Prix + 2 laps
Not classified
Dino Zamparelli Marussia Manor Racing 14 laps
Patrick Kujala Koiranen GP 10 laps
Josh Webster Status Grand Prix 6 laps