Aug 25

Sims dominates GP3 Race 2 in Spa-Francorchamps

Carlin’s Alexander Sims victorious in Belgium

GP3 - Alexander Sims (Carlin) Spa Race 2P4 to P1, that’s how it’s done! Carlin’s Alexander Sims made a great start, avoided trouble into Turn 1, claimed the lead of the race and romped away to celebrate his second win of his GP3 career.

The Brit also pocketed points for fastest lap making it a very happy return for him to the Series this weekend. The ART Grand Prix duo of Conor Daly and Facu Regalia joined the Brit on the rostrum, with Regalia extending his advantage in the championship.

A damp track greeted the 27 drivers, but it was slick Pirelli tyres for the 13 lap race with no rain falling during Race 2. Tio Ellinas (Marussia Manor Racing) started from reverse pole and was keen to get his championship chase back on track but it all went wrong at the start for him. Bamboo Engineering’s Melville McKee made a slow getaway from the front row and attempted a move on the inside of the Cypriot going into La Source. The two made contact, the Brit was able to continue into P2, but the race was over for Ellinas who retired in the pitlane. McKee was given a drive through penalty for causing a collision.

Sims from the second row of the grid avoided the incident at the start and came out of Turn 1 in the lead. The Carlin driver pulled a two second advantage at the end of the first lap, with McKee resisting the best efforts from Daly. Once McKee served his penalty, Daly and Regalia moved into the rostrum positions to further enhance their championship hopes.

Koiranen GP’s Kevin Korjus was on the move and passed Race 1 winner Daniil Kvyat (MW Arden) for P5, but it was Dino Zamparelli (Marussia Manor Racing) who carved his way through the pack. The Brit started in P10 and made good progress. Zamparelli overtook Kvyat to sneak into P6, but the Russian driver wasn’t keen to give up his position and soon reclaimed the place back, the duo glued to each other throughout Race 2.

Meanwhile at the front of the race, Sims continued to edge away, building a huge advantage of nearly six seconds. Robert Visoiu (MW Arden) and Patric Niederhauser (Jenzer Motorsport) also came through the field, collecting the final points on offer and passing Lewis Williamson (Bamboo Engineering) in the latter stages.

There was a small incident on the final lap when Luis Sa Silva (Carlin) and Aaro Vainio (Koiranen GP) came together, both ending their race in the gravel, but it was Sims who crossed the line to take victory by over eight seconds. Daly and Regalia joined Sims on the rostrum, with Nick Yelloly (Carlin), Korjus, Kvyat, Zamparelli and Visoiu completing the points scorers.

Regalia extends his Series lead to 14 points, but now his nearest contender is his ART Grand Prix teammate Conor Daly on 101 points. Ellinas has dropped to third in the Drivers’ Standings on 95, with Korjus and Kvyat on 93 and 88 respectively. ART Grand Prix increase their lead in the Teams’ Standings on 291 points, with MW Arden on 195 and Koiranen GP on 168.

With only two rounds remaining, every point is vital in the fight for the elusive GP3 crown, let’s see what happens at Round 7 in Monza, Italy on 06-08 September 2013.

Spa-Francorchamps – Race 2
Alexander Sims
Conor Daly
ART Grand Prix
Facu Regalia
ART Grand Prix
Nick Yelloly
Kevin Korjus
Koiranen GP
Daniil Kvyat
MW Arden
Dino Zamparelli
Marussia Manor Racing
Robert Visoiu
MW Arden
Patric Niederhauser
Jenzer Motorsport
Lewis Williamson
Bamboo Engineering
Giovanni Venturini
Alex Fontana
Jenzer Motorsport
Carlos Sainz
MW Arden
David Fumanelli
MW Arden
Jimmy Eriksson
Status Grand Prix
Adderly Fong
Status Grand Prix
Ryan Cullen
Marussia Manor Racing
Josh Webster
Status Grand Prix
Carmen Jorda
Bamboo Engineering
Patrick Kujala
Koiranen GP
Luis Sa Silva
Aaro Vainio
Koiranen GP
Emanuele Zonzini
Not Classified
Samin Gomez
Jenzer Motorsport
Melville McKee
Bamboo Engineering
Jack Harvey
ART Grand Prix
Tio Ellinas
Marussia Manor Racing
Fastest Lap : Alexander Sims- Carlin: 2 :07.134 on lap 11

source: GP3 Series

Marussia Manor Racing


  • Marussia Manor Racing GP3 – Spa Francorchamps – Race 2
  • GP3 Series, Round 6, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium
  • Sunday 25 August 2013
  • ZAMPARELLI P7 2:07.609
  • CULLEN P17 2:09.631

Tio Ellinas suffered his second blow in as many days at Spa when his car was damaged at the first corner of Sunday’s reverse grid race. Ellinas started from pole position after a spirited recovery drive to eighth place in the main feature race on Saturday, when he initially had problems getting his car off the starting line.

This time the Cypriot’s start was fine and he led into the tight La Source hairpin only to be hit from behind by Melville McKee, who received a Drive Through penalty as a result. Ellinas’s car suffered rear suspension damage and the Marussia Manor Racing team had no option but to retire the car early in the race.

Dino Zamparelli managed to uphold team honour with seventh place, equalling his previous best finish of the season in Germany. Ryan Cullen also equalled his best result of the year, at Silverstone.

The unfortunate Ellinas’s double trouble in Belgium means that he has lost the championship lead he has held since winning the opening race of the season at Barcelona in May. Facu Regalia now leads the series with 115 points to Conor Daly’s 101, with Ellinas on 95. There are two rounds remaining, in Monza and Abu Dhabi.

Tio Ellinas

“It’s difficult to put into words how frustrated I feel. We had a good car here and after my efforts yesterday in a race with a lot of Safety Car interruptions, I was really hoping to win today’s race and score 15 more points. This time I did make a good start but everyone knows how tight the first corner is at Spa, and the next thing I knew I was hit really hard from behind. I will be doing everything possible to re-ignite my championship challenge at Monza.”

Dino Zamparelli

“I raced here in F2 last year and really love the circuit. The car felt strong all weekend and I feel like I’m slowly getting there. I had a good race with yesterday’s winner Daniil Kvyat. We passed and re-passed each other and it was all about getting through Eau Rouge and getting a good tow up to Les Combes. He got to the line less than a second in front of me but it was a good battle.”

Ryan Cullen

“I’ve really enjoyed racing at Spa. It really is a proper circuit and it was satisfying to be able to equal my best result at a track like this. I’m looking forward to racing at another great historic track in a fortnight.”

Pete Sliwinski, Team Manager, Marussia Manor Racing GP3

“Tio has had some pretty appalling luck here at Spa. He undoubtedly had the potential to race strongly for the win, as he showed yesterday, and being clobbered at the first corner when you’ve started well from pole, is a bitter pill to swallow. But these things happen in racing and we will just have to re-focus and concentrate on Monza. Dino and Ryan both raced well but as a team we will now concentrate on doing everything to get our challenge back on track at the final two rounds.”

source: Manor GP



GP2 and GP3 review: Spa-Francorchamps 23-25 August 2013

The battle for the GP2 and GP3 crowns heated up in Spa over the weekend as once again the Pirelli-supported feeder series’ provided spectacular race action from start to finish. In GP2, it was a double victory for British drivers, with Sam Bird (Russian Time) and James Calado (ART) taking one race victory apiece.

For one of the most demanding races of the year, the GP2 crews used the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero Yellow soft compounds while the GP3 crews used the hard compound only. Tyre blistering can be a problem on ultra quick circuits such as Spa, where drivers are on the throttle for approximately 80% of the lap, but the P Zero rubber coped extremely well with the high demands of the notorious Belgian circuit, despite varied conditions over the course of the weekend.

A slightly modified version of Pirelli P Zero tyre was introduced for Spa, to best suit the particular characteristics of the track without changing the balance or performance, and help teams set up their cars in just 30 minutes. The new tyre coped perfectly with the high-energy demands of the seven-kilometre circuit all weekend.

Saturday’s GP2 feature race was dominated by Bird. Starting from pole, Bird had an early advantage and despite Calado making a faster getaway, Bird was able to snatch the lead at La Source. A brief spell behind the safety car shortly followed when Daniel De Jong (MP Motorsport) crashed at Eau Rouge but it was soon all eyes on an enthralling battle for second place. Marcus Ericsson (DAMS) eventually went on to take the runner-up spot, seven seconds behind race winner Bird. Caterham’s Alexander Rossi came home in third.

Next to take on the formidable Belgian circuit were the GP3 crews, which similar to the previous GP2 race was held in dry conditions. This time it was MW Arden’s Daniil Kyvat’s turn to shine as the Russian claimed his first ever GP3 victory after leading the grid from the off. Taking full advantage of the grip from Pirelli’s hard compound tyres, Kyvat held off mounting pressure from American Conor Daly throughout the 13 race lap and his debut victory has put him into winning contention of this year’s title. Daly finishing the race second, while Facu Regalia secured the third podium spot.

Calado won his first race of the season in Sunday’s GP2 sprint race. Starting from pole, Calado netted a string of fastest lap times and showed perfect tyre management from start to finish. It wasn’t all plain sailing however, as the Briton was chased by Julian Leal (Racing Engineering) later in the race who had initially protected his tyres in a strategy that could have paid off had the rain started to fall. Leal went on to finish second and third place was awarded to Hilmer Motorsport’s Adrian Quaife-Hobbs. Rapax driver Stefano Coletti used the soft tyre, which enabled him to make progress at the start of the race and move up to fifth from 13th before he slipped back.

Calado summed his race victory afterwards: “The start was a bit iffy because there was water where the pole position was. So I let go off the clutch and didn’t go anywhere. I then backed up the throttle and it eventually gripped but I think I had the advantage of the new tyres. The first two laps were phenomenal. We made the advantage of the new tyres and that’s what made the race.”

As is the case for GP2, the grid for Sunday’s sprint race in GP3 consisted of the top eight feature race finishers reversed. Starting in fourth place, Carlin’s Alexander Sims made a perfect start on a damp track and blasted through Turn 1 to take the race lead. Second and third place in the GP3 sprint race mirrored Saturday’s results with Daly and Regalia finishing on the podium once again.

Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “Spa never fails to provide memorable race action and I’m thrilled that we had Alexander Sims and Daniil Kyvat taking their first wins of the year on such a difficult circuit. There’s no denying that Spa is one of the most physically demanding circuits in the world and it also puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the tyres. In GP2, we saw a number of race strategies and Calado said that he used the tyres to his advantage of Sunday’s sprint race – which I have no doubt helped him win the race. With only two rounds remaining this season now, both championships are shaping up for a thrilling season-finale as it’s still all to play for in GP2 and GP3.”

The fight for the GP2 and GP3 crowns will continue in Italy in two weeks time as the crews travel to Monza (6-8 September).

source: pirelli.com