A champion lies in wait … but who will it be?
Seven rounds have passed, 14 races have been completed and the championship decider is going down to the wire! The final round of the 2012 GP3 Series™ concludes in Monza, Italy and there are four drivers battling it out for their chance to take the prestigious GP3 Series™ Crown.
Just a few days ago, Round 7 of the GP3 Series™ took place at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit and it was Series leader Mitch Evans who took pole position and bagged himself a further four points advantage. It was a lively start to Race 1 with Daniel Abt and Antonio Felix Da Costa passing Evans but a crash for Ocean Racing Technology’s Robert Cregan brought out the safety car. The race was red flagged due to extensive work required on the tyre barrier. Therefore Abt took his maiden victory in the Series after an amazing pass on both Felix Da Costa and Evans.
Race 2 was a thrilling encounter and it was MW Arden’s Matias Laine who made an impressive start and became the ninth different winner during the season, which was also his debut win in the GP3 Series™. Felix Da Costa and Conor Daly were on the rostrum whilst GP3 Series™ contenders Evans and Aaro Vainio failed to score.
The season finishes on a high at the historical Autodromo Nazionale Monza. Famous for it’s long straights and fast corners, it’s a race where even as the driver exits the final corner, you never know who is going to win due to the large tow you receive down the start/finish straight! A fitting circuit for the season finale and for two champions to be crowned as the Teams Championship be wrapped up this weekend, with Lotus GP on 329.5 and MW Arden on 276.5.
Evans has a 21.5 point margin over closest rival Antonio Felix Da Costa in the Drivers Standings. There are also two other fierce competitors in the hunt for glory with Aaro Vainio 24.5 points shy of the New Zealander and Daniel Abt 35 points back. With 48 points available to a driver in a race weekend, be sure not to miss the finale to one of the best ever GP3 Series™ seasons.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola said: “Having supplied the GP3 Series™ since 2010, it seems incredible that we are approaching the end of our third season in the category already. During that time, we have been able to accumulate a huge amount of experience, which has enabled us to fine-tune the compounds to best suit the demands of the championship and the needs of the young drivers that take part of it. For us it has been a privilege to see these young drivers move forward in their careers, and we hope that the knowledge they have picked up about tyre management and strategy will be useful to them as they aim for the pinnacle of the sport. Once more, the field has been exceptionally talented this year and we look forward to another exciting conclusion to the championship this weekend.”
Race 1 & Race 2
16 laps 92.379 km
2011 PREVIOUS WINNERS
Race 1 Bottas (Lotus ART)
Race 2 Félix Da Costa (Status Grand Prix)
2010 PREVIOUS WINNERS
Race 1 Gutiérrez (ART Grand Prix)
Race 2 Wickens (Status Grand Prix)
LAP RECORD (2010)
E. Gutiérrez (ART Grand Prix)
1:43.425 (201.641 kph)
FRIDAY 7th SEPTEMBER 2012
08:30 – 09:15 Free Practice Session
SATURDAY 8th SEPTEMBER 2012
09:00 – 09:30 Qualifying Session
10:00 Press Conference
17:10 Pit lane opens
17:15 Pit lane closes – Grid
17:20 Race 1 (16 laps / 30 minutes)
18:30 Press Conference
18.45 If Champion decided –
Champion Press Conference
SUNDAY 9th SEPTEMBER 2012
08:50 Pit lane opens
08:55 Pit lane closes – Grid
09:00 Race 2 (16 laps / 30 minutes)
- Mitch Evans 2M 1M 147 .5
- António Félix Da Costa 2M 1M 126
- Aaro Vainio 1M 123
- Daniel Abt 1M 112 .5
- Conor Daly 1M 94
- Patric Niederhauser 1M 1M 91
- Matias Laine 1M 90
- Tio Ellinas 64
- Kevin Ceccon 56
- Marlon Stöckinger 1M 41
- David Fumanelli 39
- Tamás Pál Kiss 36
- Robert Visoiu 22
- William Buller 1M 19
- Alex Brundle 19
- Giovanni Venturini 17
- Lewis Williamson 11
- Alex Fontana 8 .5
- Fabio Gamberini 1
- Fabiano Machado 0
- Alice Powell 0
- Robert Cregan 0
- Dmitry Suranovich 0
- Kotaro Sakurai 0
- John Wartique 0
- Vicky Piria 0
- Facu Regalia 0
- Carmen Jordá 0
- Ethan Ringel 0
- Antonio Spavone 0
- Jakub Klasterka 0
- Lotus GP 2M 1M 329 .5
- MW Arden 2M 2M 276 .5
- Carlin 2M 2M 164
- Jenzer Motorsport 1M 1M 121 .5
- Marussia Manor Racing 64
- Ocean Racing Technology 56
- Status Grand Prix 1M 52
- Atech CRS Grand Prix 37
- Trident Racing 17
source: GP3 Series
Last race of the 2012 GP3 Series for Ocean Racing Technology
This weekend, 7th to 9th of September, the 2012 GP3 season finale will take place at the Monza circuit in Italy. The Portuguese team, Ocean Racing Technology, debuted in the Championship this season and was one of the main contenders throughout the season. Now that the end is approaching, their three drivers, Kevin Ceccon, Robert Cregan and Carmen Jorda want to get the best possible result and finish the season on a high.
Ceccon will be racing at his home track and will certainly be one of the strongest candidates for victory, not only because he knows the track so well, but because he has gotten stronger, race after race: “I am very excited about this race. I am sure that our results will be much better than in Spa. I’ll be racing before my home fans so fond of being successful. We have a lot of work ahead but I believe we will achieve our goals,” said Ceccon that in his year GP3 Series debut in already ascended to the podium.
Robert Cregan was the victim of a nasty crash at Spa but will be able to get on track for the last race of the season: “I have recovered from the accident last week, and am very confident for this race after the progression I have been making through my rookie year in single seaters. It is going to be a hard fought race, because everyone will be wanting to finish the season in the top 10. The team has done a remarkable job and I have a very competitive car, so I will endeavor to finish as high up as possible in my first GP3 series championship,” said the Irishman.
Carmen Jorda the female representative of the team is expecting her best result: “We will be racing on the fastest circuit of the calendar and each time I race I feel more comfortable with the car, so I hope to make the best of it and finish the season with the best result of the year,” she concluded.
Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes are happy that Cregan’s accident did not have a more serious effect: “It was more of a scare but thankfully it had no real significance for Robert. Good to have him back on track,” they said.
The first race will take place on Saturday at 5:15pm and will be broadcast on Sky Sports while the second will be on Sunday at 8:55am.
2012 GP3 SERIES CONCLUDES AT PIRELLI’S HOME RACE
The GP2 and GP3 series will face its biggest challenge of the year in Monza later this week as both championships prepare for the fastest race of the season. The Italian race will mark the eighth and final round of this year’s GP3 series and is the penultimate race in this year’s GP2 series.
Based close to the home of Pirelli in Milan, The Autodromo Nazionale di Monza is 5.793-kilometres in length and is one of the oldest circuits on the championship calendar. The circuit is characterised by a series of long straights and tight chicanes, which provide a tough test for the tyres as well as the cars and drivers.
The GP2 drivers will have the P Zero Silver hard and P Zero Yellow soft tyres available to them, while the GP3 Series will use the hard compound only. There are three corners that are expected to pose the biggest challenges: the first chicane, characterised by heavy downhill braking, the Ascari curves – with their several rapid direction changes – and the famous Parabolica, a wide, open radius corner that puts a lot of lateral stress through the tyres.
Under the latest GP2 rules introduced in July that allows the drivers an extra set of the softer tyres at each race, each car will be supplied with three sets of Pirelli P Zero hard tyres and two sets of P Zero Yellow soft tyres. The GP2 drivers are likely to use the softer compound during qualifying, before moving onto the harder compound during the race. Pit stops are also now allowed in both GP2 races, while the GP3 drivers are expected to go the whole race distance without stopping.
The GP3 Series will use just one compound for the race weekend, the hard compound. As the closing round of the championship, the Monza race is crucial for all the GP3 drivers, so they will be pushing hard throughout the weekend. But as always, tyre management will be important. Following a late charge from Carlin driver Antonio Felix da Costa in Spa, there is still everything to play for in the championship, although Arden driver Mitch Evans continues to lead the standings.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola said: “Having supplied the GP3 Series since 2010, it seems incredible that we are approaching the end of our third season in the category already. During that time, we have been able to accumulate a huge amount of experience, which has enabled us to fine-tune the compounds to best suit the demands of the championship and the needs of the young drivers that take part of it. For us it has been a privilege to see these young drivers move forward in their careers, and we hope that the knowledge they have picked up about tyre management and strategy will be useful to them as they aim for the pinnacle of the sport. Once more, the field has been exceptionally talented this year and we look forward to another exciting conclusion to the championship this weekend. For GP2, the combination of hard and soft tyres will open up the possibility for a number of different race strategies with what should be a notable speed differential between the two compounds, Because of this, we would expect the GP2 drivers to use the soft compound in qualifying.”
On Friday, the GP3 drivers will take part in one practice session in Monza while the GP2 drivers will complete practice and qualifying. On Saturday, the GP3 drivers will have their qualifying session in the morning, followed by the GP2 feature race at 15.40 and the GP3 feature race at 17.20. Before the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday, the GP3 sprint race will take place at 09.00, followed by the GP2 sprint race at 10.35.