Dean Stoneman took his fourth GP3 Series victory of 2014 and his first for Koiranen GP as he dominated the opening race of the Sochi weekend.
The Briton, on debut for Koiranen GP having switched from the absent Marussia Manor Racing outfit, led away from the start and comfortably won the race whilst largely unchallenged from behind.
ART Grand Prix duo Marvin Kirchhofer and Alex Fontana completed the podium as the first ever single seater race on the Russian circuit came to and end. Fontana in particular had to fend off a spirited challenge from the second Koiranen GP entry of Jimmy Eriksson but was able to maintain his position until the chequered flag.
Kevin Ceccon finished an excellent fifth for Jenzer Motorsport ahead of Jann Mardenborough of Arden International, who made up a number of places on the opening lap and then held off the challenge of championship favourite Alex Lynn until the end.
Lynn at least had the bonus of seeing Richie Stanaway fail to score as the Kiwi driver was forced to start from the pit lane after a qualifying infringement. Despite this penalty, he climbed up to twelfth but the Status Grand Prix driver has seen Eriksson, Stoneman and Kirchhofer jump ahead of him in the championship standings.
Patric Niederhauser secured eighth position and reverse grid pole for Sunday’s second race for Arden International, while Status Grand Prix’s Nick Yelloly and Jenzer Motorsport’s Pal Varhaug completed the points finishes.
Dino Zamparelli had a nightmare race for ART Grand Prix. The Briton had qualified on the second row of the grid, but a bad opening lap cost him a number of places, and then he was penalised with a drive through penalty for causing a collision that saw Emil Bernstorff retire his Carlin machine with a broken suspension.
Lynn now has a commanding 52-point lead in the championship, and should be maintain that advantage after tomorrow’s second race, he will be the 2014 GP3 Series champion. He also has the advantage of starting on the front row ahead of all his main rivals.
Sochi Race 1 Result
|1||Dean Stoneman||GBR||Koiranen GP||28m45.648s|
|2||Marvin Kirchhofer||GER||ART Grand Prix||+1.812s|
|3||Alex Fontana||SWI||ART Grand Prix||+4.978s|
|4||Jimmy Eriksson||SWE||Koiranen GP||+8.862s|
|5||Kevin Ceccon||ITA||Jenzer Motorsport||+13.235s|
|6||Jann Mardenborough||GBR||Arden International||+13.683s|
|8||Patric Niederhauser||SWI||Arden International||+15.056s|
|9||Nick Yelloly||GBR||Status Grand Prix||+16.243s|
|10||Pal Varhaug||NOR||Jenzer Motorsport||+21.985s|
|11||Riccardo Agostini||ITA||Hilmer Motorsport||+22.859s|
|12||Richie Stanaway||NZL||Status Grand Prix||+24.904s|
|13||Patrick Kujala||FIN||Trident Racing||+28.005s|
|14||Santiago Urrutia||URU||Koiranen GP||+34.045s|
|15||Nelson Mason||CAN||Hilmer Motorsport||+39.097s|
|16||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||Status Grand Prix||+39.852s|
|17||Luis Sa Silva||MAC||Carlin||+42.002s|
|18||Dino Zamparelli||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+46.834s|
|19||Nikolay Martsenko||RUS||Hilmer Motorsport||+52.299s|
|20||Mitchell Gilbert||AUS||Trident Racing||+1m06.264s|
|RET||Matheo Tuscher||SWI||Jenzer Motorsport||4 Laps|
|RET||Robert Visoiu||ROM||Arden International||1 Lap|
|RET||Emil Bernstorff||GBR||Carlin||1 Lap|