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May 11, 2014 - 06:15 AM
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Status GP Barcelona GP3 Race 1 Report
Posted by: newsla on May 11, 2014 - 06:13 AM
GP2 News
Status GP Barcelona GP3 Race 1 Report

Status Grand Prix’s Richie Stanaway got the GP3 Series season off to a good start by claiming third place in the first race at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, supporting the Spanish Grand Prix.


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The New Zealander qualified third, just two tenths of a second from pole position, and made a strong start to briefly run second into the first corner.

But Stanaway was forced to slow when Marvin Kirchhofer rejoined the circuit after running off the road, and lost second place to Jimmy Eriksson as the trio ran side by side.

Stanaway held the pace of the leading duo in the early stages, before adopting a strategic race of conserving his tyres as much as possible on a circuit that is notoriously hard on rubber.

Nick Yelloly, who had topped the first day of testing at Barcelona last month, was disappointed to qualify 11th after being badly baulked by traffic on both of his hot laps on his second set of tyres. He had been running fourth up to the midpoint of the session on his first set of Pirelli P Zeros.

The Briton made a strong start to get into the top eight, but was boxed in traffic and got passed by Matheo Tuscher. From then on, despite race-long pressure, Yelloly could not find a way past and had to settle for ninth, frustratingly just one place off reversed-grid pole for Sunday.

On his GP3 debut, Mexican Alfonso Celis Jr made a sensational first lap to rise from 22nd to 16th. With his tyres carrying a flat-spot from qualifying, Celis knew his race would be difficult. He pushed Ryan Cullen early on for 15th place but began to struggle with tyre grip and lost two positions to finish 18th. A lap time within half a second of Yelloly’s was further proof of the 17-year-old’s progress.

The second race starts at 0925 on Sunday.

Driver quotes:

Richie Stanaway
“Qualifying was close, and I just needed another tenth or two to get pole. We had the potential but didn’t quite maximise it. I got off the line well in the race, but unfortunately I had a fight with Kirchhofer and lost a place to Eriksson. From then on I did what I could, and once the race has settled down you have to drive to what you have. I’m very happy with the podium, and now we’ll have a good look at things tonight and see how it shakes out tomorrow.”

Nick Yelloly
“We were quick but I didn’t ever get a free lap on the second set of tyres, and everyone else went at least half a second quicker. I got up to ninth in the race, but it’s always the same at Barcelona – you can’t get close enough to the guy in front to make a move. With Tuscher, it was either a massive lunge and take him out, or take a couple of points and see what we can do tomorrow.”

Alfonso Celis Jr
“I pushed a lot through the first laps and I was really pleased to make up so many places, but I maybe took too much out of the tyres and in the end I really damaged them. But this is all part of the learning process and I’m pleased with the progress I have made today. It was good to finish my first GP3 race and hopefully I'll learn even more in the second.”

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