Niederhauser Wins Valencia’s Second GP3 Race From Pole

Patric Niederhauser - Photo Credit: GP3 Media Service

Patric Niederhauser scored his first win in GP3 with a controlled drive from pole position in Race 2 in Valencia.

The Jenzer Motorsport driver was beaten off the line by a flying Daniel Abt from third place, who nosed ahead around the outside of turn one. Niederhauser wasn't beaten though, and he was later on the brakes into turn two to regain the lead.

The gap between Niederhauser and Abt fluctuated during the race, but ended with Niederhauser ahead by 0.9 seconds.

Kevin Ceccon started the race in second but a poor start saw him drop to third behind Abt. The Italian looked for a way by during the first half of the race, but later came under pressure from Tio Ellinas.

The Cypriot had got by Matias Laine at the turn 17 hairpin on the opening lap, and was still in fourth place exiting the same corner for the last time. He dived down the inside of Ceccon under braking at the very last corner, forcing the Italian wide and off the track as he took the position.

Laine took advantage of the tussle to take fourth at the expense of Ceccon, who came back on track just ahead of Mitch Evans.

Evans, who turned 18 today, was involved in a battle with championship rival Aaro Vainio for much of the race, having led the Finn home to victory on Saturday.

Evans got ahead on the first lap, but Vainio regained the place a couple of laps later. Vainio began looking for a way by fellow Finn Laine, but outbraked himself at turn two and was lucky to keep it out of the barriers as Evans nipped through into sixth. That result gives him a four point advantage in the points over Vainio.

Eighth was Antonio Felix Da Costa, who performed numerous overtakes throughout the race to come through from the back of the grid. He got ahead of Carlin teammate William Buller with a few laps to go and then set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour.

Tamas Pal Kiss was tenth, just ahead of Marlon Stockinger, with Robert Visoiu passing Robert Cregan for 12th right at the line. Alex Brundle ran as high as 11th before slipping back to 14th, ahead of Dmitry Suranovich and Race 1 podium finisher David Fumanelli, who fell back at the start.

Trident teammates Antonio Spavone and Vicky Piria were next, ahead of Fabiano Machado who was given a drive-through penalty for causing a collision that put out Ethan Ringel.

Carmen Jorda was another retirement, joining the trio of Conor Daly, Alice Powell and John Wartique who all had contact just before the bridge on the first lap.

The fourth race weekend of the season takes place at Silverstone in a couple of weeks' time.