Nirei Fukuzumi took victory in the opening GP3 Series race of the 2017 campaign – his maiden victory in the series – by a margin of nearly seven and a half seconds over his nearest rival Leonardo Pulcini with Alessio Lorandi completing the podium.
Briton Jack Aitken had started from pole position and endured a hard fight with Fukuzumi with the pair trying to get the upper hand over one another.
This intense fight was brought to an end on lap 16 as Aitken suffered a sensor failure, stuttering on track before limping back to the pits and retirement, allowing the Japanese man to race off into the lead.
The focus of the race then switched to the Italian pairing behind of Pulcini and Lorandi with the latter all over the back of the former in the closing stages of the race but it came to no avail with Pulcini crossing the line to take P2 with Lorandi four tenths of a second behind.
Mercedes Junior driver George Russell managed to stay out of trouble and preserve his tyres to make a push up to fourth place at the flag to hold off team-mate Anthoine Hubert.
Dorian Boccolacci denied Arjun Maini for P6.
Further back, the Campos Racing duo of Raoul Hyman and Marcos Siebert were fighting over not only bragging rights but also P8 and reverse grid pole for the sprint race – with Hyman coming out on top.
To make matters worse for Siebert, American Santino Ferrucci nicked p9 from the Argentine at the final corner.
GP3 Series 2017 Barcelona Race 1 Results
|1||2||Nirei Fukuzumi||JPN||ART Grand Prix||36m41.269|
|2||6||Leonardo Pulcini||ITA||Arden International||36m48.702|
|3||22||Alessio Lorandi||ITA||Jenzer Motorsport||36m49.158|
|4||3||George Russell||GBR||ART Grand Prix||36m53.076|
|5||4||Anthonie Hubert||FRA||ART Grand Prix||36m53.428|
|7||24||Arjun Maini||IND||Jenzer Motorsport||36m56.175|
|8||27||Raoul Hyman||RSA||Campos Racing||37m12.255|
|10||28||Marcos Siebert||ARG||Campos Racing||37m12.626|
|11||26||Julien Falchero||FRA||Campos Racing||37m13.181|
|15||5||Niko Kari||FIN||Arden International||37m17.265|
|18||7||Steijn Schothorst||NED||Arden International||37m20.681|
|19||1||Jack Aitken||GBR||ART Grand Prix||DNF|