Stoneman cruises to Sochi win

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
7 Alex Lynn GBR Carlin +14.740s
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