Home NEWS by SERIES GP2 GP3 : 2011 Belgium - Spa Race 2 report & result - Stanaway takes win on debut
GP3 : 2011 Belgium - Spa Race 2 report & result - Stanaway takes win on debut E-mail
Sunday, 28 August 2011 02:00
GP3 Series report and result from Spa - Stunning drive from the pole sitter, young New Zealander Richie Stanaway who drove a brilliant race today to win on his GP3 Series debut weekend as Lotus ART took the team crown.

The New Zealander finished 4.007 seconds ahead of his team-mate James Calado to lead the second Lotus ART 1-2 of the weekend, the result ensured that Lotus ART sealed the teams’ title for the second season in a row with one round remaining.

When the lights went out Stanaway briefly lost the lead to Jenzer Motorsport’s Nico Müller, but the young driver kept a cool head and fought back to regain his place at the front and from then on the race was sewn up.

Stanaway built up a commanding lead, which was as much as 6.1 seconds midway through the race, to take the victory while series contender Alexander Sims had another disappointing morning when a first lap clash ended his race prematurely.

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs made his way up into third by the end of lap 1 and soon passed Müller for second spot, but the podium position was short lived when the Brits’ bad luck returned and an engine problem ended his race.

Further back the Lotus ART duo of Calado and Valtteri Bottas were on the move with both drivers up into the points.

Calado went on to haul himself up into the top three, but Series leader Bottas was unable to make in six podiums in a row after a clash with Melker saw the Dutchman retire and the Finn drop down the order and out the points for the first time since Germany.

With the chequered flag in sight Calado was fast catching Stanaway but the Brit ran out of laps and had to settle for second and after a battle with the Lotus ART driver Müller took the final podium spot.

Birthday boy Michael Christensen held on to fourth despite pressure from Simon Trummer in the closing laps, and Alex Fontana claimed the final point on his GP3 debut weekend.

Bottas leaves Belgium with a slashed lead of just five points in the Series ahead of his team-mate James Calado. Lotus ART lead the teams’ standings by 45 points, but the battle for second spot is still raging.

MW Arden and RSC Mucke Motorsport both have 31 points in second and third respectively, there are still five drivers still in the hunt to become the 2011 GP3 Series champion.

Rio Haryanto
“A typical Spa Francorchamps weekend. The changeable conditions here make it a very tough race weekend. But we did our best and worked hard, and now we have to carry on like this to end the season on a high.”

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
“It was so frustrating today! I was really feeling comfortable in the car and early in the race I was running in second position after a great start. Then all of a sudden I felt the car lost some power and everyone started to pass me – I couldn’t do anything. It’s a shame because the weekend had started well, finishing 4th yesterday and if I had scored some more points today I could have ended up third in the Championship. But there is still one more race to go before the end of the season and I just have to keep on pushing.”

Matias Laine
“On Friday the speed was good and on Saturday during the qualifying in the wet I was also fast, but in the end the track started to dry and I was late in to put my dry tyres on. I felt comfortable in both races and my speed stats to be good but now I just need to avoid small mistakes and the results will come.”

Simon Trummer
“Conditions were tricky at the start, because some parts of the track were quite slippery and obviously we were on dry tyres. I made sure i kept my nose clean at the start and then concentrated on sticking to the driest parts of the circuit. Everything seemed to be going well and I was up to 10th within a couple of laps and eighth by lap four. Championship leader Valtteri Bottas had some kind of technical problem, so I was able to pass him, and a couple of others made mistakes, so in the closing stages I was up to fifth and catching Michael Christensen. I didn’t take any risks, though, because I didn’t want to compromise my first points finish of the year. It was a good race and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Mitch Evans
“I made a good start and moved immediately up to 10th, but there was all sorts of chaos on the opening lap and another driver hit me in the side. That punctured a hole in my oil cooler, so that was that. A short day at the office, sadly.”

Lewis Williamson
“What can I say? The engine defaulted to safety mode during the warm-up lap. It happened twice, in fact, although I was able to restart on both occasions. It wouldn’t rev beyond 2,000rpm, though, and eventually jammed in safety mode so I had to return to the pits. It seems I suffered some kind of throttle sensor failure.”

Spa Francorchamps Race 2 results:
Pos. Driver Nat. Team Laps Time Gap
1 1 R. STANAWAY NZL Lotus ART 12 26'47.675
2 3 J. CALADO GBR Lotus ART 12 26'51.682 4.007
3 7 N. MULLER SUI Jenzer Motorsport 12 26'54.801 7.126
4 30 M. CHRISTENSEN DEN RSC Mucke Motorsport 12 27'04.116 16.441
5 27 S. TRUMMER SUI MW Arden 12 27'04.756 17.081
6 9 A. FONTANA SUI Jenzer Motorsport 12 27'06.688 19.013
7 14 C. DALY USA Carlin 12 27'15.731 28.056
8 6 I. LUKASHEVICH RUS Status Grand Prix 12 27'17.023 29.348
9 11 R. HARYANTO INA Marussia Manor Racing 12 27'20.157 32.482
10 20 M. STOCKINGER PHI Atech CRS GP 12 27'20.209 32.534
11 5 A. FELIX DA COSTA POR Status Grand Prix 12 27'20.864 33.189
12 22 Z. AMBERG SUI Atech CRS GP 12 27'23.946 36.271
13 21 N. YELLOLY GBR Atech CRS GP 12 27'30.180 42.505
14 19 T. PAL KISS HUN Tech 1 Racing 12 27'32.109 44.434
15 8 M. ZIMIN RUS Jenzer Motorsport 12 27'32.556 44.881
16 24 G. CHAVES COL Addax Team 12 27'33.382 45.707
17 29 D. MANCINELLI ITA RSC Mucke Motorsport 12 27'33.835 46.16
18 16 L. CORDEIRO BRA Carlin 12 27'34.154 46.479
19 2 V. BOTTAS FIN Lotus ART 12 27'35.910 48.235
20 25 D. SMITH GBR Addax Team 12 27'37.932 50.257
21 18 T. HYLKEMA NED Tech 1 Racing 12 28'55.440 127.77
Not classified
10 A. QUAIFE-HOBBS GBR Marussia Manor Racing 7 16'13.567 DNF
23 T. DILLMANN FRA Addax Team 7 16'19.970 DNF
31 N. MELKER NED RSC Mucke Motorsport 2 4'40.905 DNF
4 A. SIMS GBR Status Grand Prix 1 02'42.502 DNF
26 M. EVANS NZL MW Arden 1 02'51.214 DNF
17 A. VAINIO FIN Tech 1 Racing 1 3'03.769 DNF
15 C. MACLEOD GBR Carlin 1 4'27.183 DNF
12 M. LAINE FIN Marussia Manor Racing 0 DNF

Fastest lap: J. Calado (GBR) Lotus ART 2'12.5

Informing those in the know who want to know even more
Dedicated to: Rudolf Ray +++ 14 April 2002 to 7 September 2007 +++
Stelios Avgerinos +++ 23 November 1931 to 4 February 2014 +++