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Sep 09

GP3: Ellinas wins as Evans becomes Champion

Cypriot ace secures maiden win in season finale

GP3 - Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) Monza Race 2GP3 - Mitch Evans GP3 Series Champion 2012Mitch Evans – GP3 Series 2012 Champion! The final round of the 2012 season was a weekend you could not script. Ahead of Race 2, only one man could stop the New Zealander claiming the GP3 Series crown and that was Daniel Abt, who had to win the race with a no score from Evans to steal the honours.

The German was leading whilst Evans had a problematic race but with a few laps remaining, Marussia Manor Racing driver Tio Ellinas romped home to his debut victory after passing the Lotus GP driver in the Series which clinched the title for the MW Arden driver in a nail-biting finish.

Giovanni Venturini (Trident Racing) started form reverse pole and made a clean getaway to maintain position. David Fumanelli went wide at the first chicane as did Evans in a repeat of yesterday’s Race 1. The Series leader was on the move, after starting from P25 on the grid, he was up to P12 within a few laps.

Lewis Williamson (Status Grand Prix) and Vicky Piria (Trident Racing) were early casualties at the first chicane whilst Abt made the jump from P8 to P4. The rookie then began picking his rivals off, first Marlon Stockinger and then Fumanelli to go P2.

Evans knew what job he had to do, pick up two points for fastest lap by getting into P10 and he did it. At that point the trophy was his but he ran wide over a kerb and picked up a puncture which then caused him to visit the gravel trap. The MW Arden pitted for new tyres and got back into the race near the back of the field. The fight was on at the front with Ellinas and Abt duelling for the lead who both passed Venturini, with victory a must for the German. The top three were packed close together with Ellinas looking perilously quick.

Abt passed the Cypriot and was on course for achieving the title, but Ellinas wasn’t ready to give in and with two laps to go, regained the lead and was able to defend the challenge from the Lotus GP driver to take the chequered flag and finish his season on a high. With Abt scoring 12 points, Evans triumphed with a two point advantage in the Series, after finishing in 20th after a disastrous race for the New Zealander but he will be lifting the GP3 Series crown aloft this evening.

Venturini pocketed third place, his best result of the season and maiden podium, ahead of Stockinger, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Matias Laine (who spun at the end of the race losing a few positions) and Robert Visoiu. Alice Powell for Status Grand Prix came home in eighth, achieving her first point finish of the season, a happy end to the year for her and becomes the first female driver to score points in the history of the GP3 Series.

The season has ended with a flourish and GP3 Series will be back next season, ready to entertain the fans and showcase the emerging talent with the new GP3/13 car. Roll on 2013!

Monza – Race 2
 
Driver
Team
1.
Tio Ellinas
Marussia Manor Racing
2.
Daniel Abt
Lotus GP
3.
Giovanni Venturini
Trident Racing
4.
Marlon Stockinger
Status Grand Prix
5.
Antonio Felix Da Costa
Carlin
6.
Matias Laine
MW Arden
7.
Robert Visoiu
Jenzer Motorsport
8.
Alice Powell
Status Grand Prix
9.
Kevin Ceccon
Ocean Racing Technology
10.
Alex Brundle
Carlin
11.
Conor Daly
Lotus GP
12.
William Buller
Carlin
13.
David Fumanelli
MW Arden
14.
Aaro Vainio
Lotus GP
15.
Tamas Pal Kiss
Atech CRS GP
16.
Fabiano Machado
Marussia Manor Racing
17.
Robert Cregan
Ocean Racing Technology
18.
John Wartique
Atech CRS GP
19.
Carmen Jorda
Ocean Racing Technology
20.
Mitch Evans
MW Arden
 
Not Classified
Patric Niederhauser
Jenzer Motorsport
Vicky Piria
Trident Racing
Ethan Ringel
Atech CRS GP
Lewis Williamson
Status Grand Prix
Dmitry Suranovich
Marussia Manor Racing
 
Fastest Lap : Matias Laine – MW Arden : 1:44.471 on lap 13

GP3 - Mitch Evans 2012 GP3 Series Champion (MW Arden)

 

source: GP3 Series

MW Arden logo

MW Arden, GP3 Series 2012 – Monza Race Two

Evans takes Title…by a whisker

MW Arden driver Mitch Evans was crowned GP3 Series champion at Monza this morning – despite finishing only 20th in the final race of the campaign. The Kiwi started the race with 14 points in hand over title rival Daniel Abt as the pair lined up 25th and seventh respectively. As Abt picked his way towards the front of the field, Evans moved up into the top 10 – and set fastest lap in the process. That stacked the odds in his favour, but he then sustained a right-rear puncture that forced him to pit and dropped him to the tail of the pack. If Abt won, he would now take the title – a situation Evans was powerless to defend. The German spent a considerable time in the lead, but was eventually overhauled by Marussia Manor driver Tio Ellinas. The leading pair fought a titanic lead battle during the closing stages, but Ellinas got the verdict and that was enough to give Evans the title by two points.

His MW Arden team-mates Matias Laine and David Fumanelli both featured in the top six, but after running second Fumanelli dropped back to 13th after his car picked up assorted damage. Laine climbed as high as fifth, but slipped to seventh after a quick spin. For the second time in as many days, however, rival Aaro Vainio collected a time penalty for ignoring yellow flags and Laine was elevated to sixth.

Mitch Evans :

“There are probably easier ways to win a title and I guess I owe Tio a big vote of thanks. My job was to get up into the points and I was on course to do that, because I’d been passing people from the start and the car felt really good. I was up into the top 10 and challenging to get into the points when Aaro Vainio clipped me on the pit straight and damaged my tyre. I was really hoping to avoid trouble, because I wanted the destiny of the title to be in my own hands, but it’s one of those things and I just had to hope other results would go my way. Happily they did and I’m absolutely delighted to have wrapped up the championship, even if it wasn’t the best way to do it. This has been a great season, though, and I’d like to thank everybody at MW Arden for their contribution. It’s greatly appreciated.”

Matias Laine:

“Not a bad result, but it wasn’t an especially good race for me. I made an average start and committed a few mistakes along the way, including one spin. The car was good, though, and it has definitely been a season of two halves: it took me a while to find my feet, but I now know that I can be competitive and the next step is to challenge for the title.”

David Fumanelli:

“I got away well and ran second during the early stages, but then came under pressure and ended up sliding wide into the gravel. I flat-spotted a tyre at one point and that made the car ever more difficult to drive. Then another driver punted me over the kerbs at the first chicane and that was effectively the end of my race. There have been some very good moments this season, so it was a disappointing note on which to end.”

source: arden-motorsport.com

Ocean Racing

Ocean ends GP3 Series season at Monza

The end of Ocean Racing Technology’s debut season in the GP3 Championship Series took place this week-end at the Italian track of Monza. Despite it being their rookie season, the Portuguese team was a main contender in many of the races, but luck was not on their side in this final round. The team’s three drivers, Kevin Ceccon, Robert Cregan and Carmen Jorda did their best to finish the season in the best way possible. However Ceccon’s goal to stand on the podium at his home race was compromised in qualifying, and he finished the two events in 13th and 9th places. Cregan had two good races to conclude his rookie season with 20th and 17th placed finishes while Jorda was 21st and 19th.

Kevin Ceccon was involved in an incident with an opponent in qualifying, which saw him given a five place grid drop as a result and left him to start his home race from 25th on the grid. “After what happened in qualifying I had to give it all I had in the race to recover positions. I started 25th and finished 13th, and I consider that a good race. The second was very confusing with many battles and overtaking, but I only managed to finish 9th. It was my rookie year in GP3 as well as the team’s. We were all learning, but we were aware that we could have fought for the top three places in the Championship. Unfortunately the second part of the season did not go as well as the first. But I still think it was a good year,” said the Italian driver.

Over time, Robert Cregan became a consistent driver and adapted to this new stage of his career really well. “I had never raced in single seaters before and learning was very important and rewarding. I learned and evolved a lot since the first day. It was a good time for me. This week-end we were on the fastest circuit on the calendar, which made it even more challenging. It could have gone better but I still ended up with the feeling of accomplishment,” said the Irishman.

Carmen Jorda was equally pleased with her first season in GP3: “Everything I learned with the team this year was very gratifying. I had some good moments and some bad, but I’m pretty sure I grew as a driver. There was a lot to learn but I have already taken many lessons! The races at Monza ended up being good. I think I did a good job and I’m pleased to have finished both of them, avoiding all the incidents that happened ahead of me,” she said.

Tiago Monteiro and Jose Guedes are proud of the work accomplished by their drivers and technical team: “It was a learning year for everyone. I think we were at a good level and we are pleased with the team’s work that made this GP3 season a reality. The drivers were equally well, each with their own experience levels. We collected imported information throughout the year that will help us going forward. Congratulations everyone!”, concluded the two leaders of the Portuguese team ending yet another important phase of their team’s growth this weekend.

source: oceanracingtech.com


Pirelli

GP2 AND GP3 TYRES PROVE CRUCIAL AS SERIES DRAW TO A CLOSE

The Italian Grand Prix was the venue for the final round of the GP3 Series and the penultimate round of the GP2 Series, with New Zealander Mitch Evans claiming the GP3 title after a dramatic weekend in both championships.

For the fastest race of the year, the GP2 drivers had the P Zero Silver hard and P Zero Yellow soft tyres at their disposal, whereas the GP3 drivers had the P Zero Silver hard tyres available to them. There is generally low tyre degradation at Monza, but certain places such as the famous Parabolica put plenty of energy through the front tyres in particular, and high temperatures throughout the weekend also placed additional stress on the P Zero rubber.

Saturday’s 30-lap GP2 feature race was sensationally won by Italian driver Luca Filippi, returning to competition with Coloni after a 12-month absence. Filippi – who tested Pirelli’s next-generation GP2 tyres at Barcelona before travelling to Monza – qualified second on the grid behind Carlin’s Max Chilton.

Chilton started on used soft tyres, whereas Filippi opted for new hards. Filippi stopped on lap eight to change to used hards on the rear only, with Chilton stopping five laps later for a set of new hards. He came out just ahead of Filippi, but the Italian overtook him into the Ascari chicane. Addax driver Johnny Cecotto tried a different strategy, changing from new softs to new hards on lap 13 after saving his tyres in qualifying. He eventually finished in second, having started from eighth on the grid following a penalty.

The GP3 title could have been won on Saturday, but in a dramatic twist of events polesitter Evans was forced to retire early in the race – and then championship challengers Antonio Felix da Costa and Aaro Vainio were also unable to capitalise on the opportunity. This left Evans – who retained the championship lead despite his retirement in the feature race – and Lotus driver Daniel Abt as the only contenders, separated by 14 points.

Abt started the GP3 sprint race on Sunday in eighth while Evans started last, but the German driver had to win in order to have any chance of taking the title. Incredibly, Abt was on course to do this, until he was passed by Manor driver Tio Ellinas.

There were no pit stops during the second GP2 race on Sunday, which was won by Caterham’s Davide Valsecchi, who extended his championship lead heading into the final round. With just one set of P Zero hard tyres for the 21-lap race, drivers had to look after their tyres to avoid them going off, which led to plenty of overtaking in the closing stages.

Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “We enjoyed an action-packed weekend in Italy, but first of all I’d like to congratulate Mitch Evans and MW Arden on a well-deserved title win that was taken under almost unbelievable circumstances, ending what was probably the most spectacular and competitive season we have seen in our three years of supplying GP3. Next year there will be a new GP3 car and some new tyres for it, so this is a fantastic way to say goodbye to the current GP3 formula. I’d also like to congratulate Luca Filippi on a fantastic GP2 win on Saturday, which was made all the more special as he has been out of a car for so long. We saw some good tactics from Johnny Cecotto as well, who saved tyres in qualifying in order to have new sets for the race and made up six places. On Sunday, Davide Valsecchi typically looked after his tyres perfectly to win from third on the grid. This important skill is one of the reasons why he now has a good lead of the championship going into the final round.”

With the GP3 Series now over, there is just one deciding round left to go in GP2 at the Singapore Grand Prix from September 21-23.

source: pirelli.com

First Point for Powell and a Female Driver in GP3 Season Finale at Monza

GP3 - Alice Powell Status Grand Prix at GP3 Monza 2012 low res CREDIT Daniel at LAT PhotographicStatus Grand PrixShe is also the first female driver to score a point in the Series, making history at the iconic Italian track. It was Alice’s first time at the Autodromo Nationale Monza and her weekend kicked off with free practice on Friday. It was a productive session as Alice learnt the track and worked with her Status Grand Prix team to set-up the car and get to grips with the hard tyre option. She ended the day in a comfortable 12th position on the time sheets.

On Saturday morning Alice used only one set of new tyres in qualifying to save a set for the races ahead. The Status GP car had good pace around the track, but Alice was unable to utilise tow from a car in front and was only able to set a time of 1:45.303 seconds to sit in P22 at the end of the session. She was, however, later promoted to P21 for the start of race one following a penalty issued to Kevin Ceccon.

Alice made a decent start to race one on Saturday afternoon. She gained a couple of places before turn one and moved up a further position later in the lap when eventual 2012 Championship winner Mitch Evans went off at turn seven. Alice had a good battle with Visou and Brundle and managed to overtake them both into turn one on lap four. From then on she got her head down to try and catch the pack in front and made great effort avoiding further race incidents to reach P12 at the chequered flag.

After a poor start to race two on Sunday morning, falling back to P15 from P12, Alice took advantage of Conor Daly’s visit to the gravel trap to be up to P14 by the end of lap one. A good battle with Alex Brundle meant that the pair started to lose touch with the group ahead, however Alice managed to break away from Brundle and start to reel in the front runners. Following an off by Mitch Evans and an incident between Will Buller and David Fumanelli, Alice was now charging in P11 with three laps of the race remaining. She then challenged Kevin Ceccon, who she passed going into turn four only to be retaken at the start of the final lap. Determined to make a strong finish and to regain position, Alice got a decent tow coming out of turn seven and hit the brakes late for turn eight in a move that enabled her to cross the finish line in a well deserved P10. Fortunately for Alice, Vaino and Pal Kiss received post race penalties which meant that she was promoted to an 8th place finish and therefore awarded her first GP3 Drivers’ Championship point – the first ever to be received by a female racing driver in the Series too!

Alice Powell, Driver #16 Status Grand Prix, GP3 Team

“To end the weekend like we did is great! Even though qualifying did not go to plan, it has been a good weekend with two solid results. To get my first point in GP3 is brilliant and I am so chuffed. Status Grand Prix has done a great job and helped me so much this year, so to finish the weekend with a top eight finish is fantastic. I have learnt so much throughout the year and could not have learnt the amount I did if it wasn’t for help of the Status crew – so a big thanks to them. Huge thanks also to all of my sponsors this year; it is great to get a good result for them and I hope to raise enough sponsorship to compete in the fantastic GP3 Series next year.”

Simon Cayzer, #16 Engineer, Status Grand Prix, GP3 team

“It’s fantastic that Alice finishes the season with a point score. She has always shown great speed during the season, but getting on the points table had been our target for some races now. To be the first female driver to achieve this in the GP3 Series is a great achievement and it’s testament to all the hard work Alice puts in both on and off the track. The final two rounds at Spa and Monza are ‘big’ tracks with famous corners that require huge commitment. Alice got on top of these circuits very quickly and everyone has been very impressed with her race-craft during these races. Alice was consistently one the fastest drivers in sector two at Monza throughout the whole weekend. Now we look forward to 2013 with the new era GP3 car and sincerely hope that Alice can be with us again next year.”

For information on the team please visit www.statusgp.com

For information on the GP3 Series please visit www.gp3series.com

source: Emma Buxton, emmabuxton.com, www.alicepowell.com, photo: Daniel at LAT Photographic

Trident Racing
Trident Racing

GP3 Monza – Final Race weekEnd

The GP3 Series successfully completed its 2012 season on the last weekend at Monza, and Trident Racing managed to honour its home crowd with the podium finish scored by Giovanni Venturini. The Italian-based racer took a valuable third place in Race 2 ad the end of an eventful day.

Both Venturini and Vicky Piria showed some great potential in the two races, but the overall balance of the weekend has been heavily influenced by the struggles suffered in qualifying.

Venturini managed to end up into the points zone in Race 1 by scoring 8th, while Piria also put on a great recovery. In Race 2, she was punted out by one of her opponents right at the start, while approaching the first chicane, and retired on the spot.

With the end of the 2012 season, the GP3 Series is now ready for its off-season. The Autumn tests will be crucial in order to prepare for the next year of racing.

Giovanni Venturini

“It’s been a good weekend. In retrospect, I can say that I could have achieved more, but overall this round has been pretty fine. I paid the price of some though luck in qualifying when I could have ended up in the first or second row. Instead, I made a small mistake and lost my best chance for a clean, fast lap. In the second lap I found myself blocked in traffic, wounding up in row 5. In Race 1 I didn’t have a great start: thanks to slipstreams I was able to pass but I kept being caught on the following lap. I got two position back, and at that point my goal became to hold onto 8th place to have a chance to start on the pole for Race 2. I accomplished this goal and led the first five laps. I was followed by Fumanelli and Abt and I hoped that their battle would have kept them from attacking me. Eventually, Abt won his duel and draft passed me in a couple of laps. In the end, I hoped to stay behind him and keep Ellinas at bay, but he proved in great shape. Eventually I scored a third place finish and with that it came the joy of being on the Monza podium in the same day of the Italian Grand Prix. I’m proud to have confirmed the team’s constant growth at Monza. Joining a new championship during the season hasn’t been easy, but now I know that, with the right preparation, we would have battled for the front”.

Vicky Piria

“The home round of the series is always special, and I can’t hyde that I had great expectations at Monza. Unfortunately in qualifying, during the best moment, I haven’t been really lucky and that took its toll during the races. At the start of the session I had clocked a good 13th lap with the first set of tires, but when I put the second set on, I couldn’t draft my way through traffic, a key aspect at Monza. So I had to start from the 12th row. In Race 2, despite an rear end issue which made the car unstable under braking, I moved back from 23rd to 16th. Race 2 ended up in an unfortunate way as I was hit from behind at the very first braking. I’m really disappointed because this season I had ended all my races except for Race 2 at Hockenheim when I suffered from a bad crash. This time though I cant blame it on myself. I think that this 2012 experience will be key for the future and I can’t wait to be back on-track for the offseason tests”.

source: tridentracing.it