Full GP3 race 1 results
Having successfully clinched pole position on Friday afternoon, Carlin's Alex Lynn was determined to put it to good use in his first GP3 Series race.
The man he expected to be his main threat in the first feature race at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain was ART's Marvin Kirchhofer who had qualified alongside Lynn on the front row. However, Kirchhofer removed himself from contention with an untidy first lap that saw him run wide on several occasions.
That not only releases Lynn, it allowed Jimmy Eriksson (Koiranen GP) and Richie Stanaway (Status GP) to get around him for second and third place. In the Marussia Manor Racing #14, Patrick Kujala was able to make the use of another slip by Kirchhofer to nip past the German for fourth place.
There were several incidents in the opening laps, with Emil Bernstorff's Carlin ploughing into the gravel trap and Trident team mates Victor Carbone and Roman De Beer both retiring after a nasty collision between the pair that will be reviewed by the stewards overnight. Also retiring early from the proceedings were Koiranen GP's Carmen Jorda and Jenzer Motorsport's Adderly Fong with mechanical failures.
Once the opening laps were out of the way the running order settled down into an equilibrium that stubbornly refused to be upset, despite all the work done by the series over the close season to encourage closer racing. The best battle on track was between Jenzer Motorsport's Matheo Tuscher and Status GP's Nick Yelloly for the all-important eight place - and moreover pole for race 2 under the reverse grid rules.
The duel lasted for much of the race, but despite applying all the pressure he could muster, and even with Tuscher making a mistake a running wide on the final lap of the race, the Briton was unable to get past the Swiss driver and so it will be Tuscher who will start from pole in Sunday morning's race alongside Marussia Manor Racing's Dean Stoneman who ended Saturday in seventh place.
There had been no change at the head of the field, Lynn more than up to the task of managing his race pace to get him across the line a comfortable 2.4s ahead of Eriksson who was the only man left within ten seconds of the race leader. Stanaway held onto the remaining place ahead of Kujala, while Kirchhofer was able to keep hold on fifth place after his tempestuous start, putting him ahead of his team mate Dino Zamparelli in sixth place at the line.
Behind Stoneman, Tuscher and Yelloly, the final point of the race went to Arden's Patric Niederhauser in tenth place who managed to hold off ART's Alex Fontana who had been keen to make up for a sluggish start off the grid.
Having secured pole position, his maiden race win and the flying lap all on the same day - the perfect result - there was no surprise that Alex Lynn leads the championship standings by 31 points to Eriksson's 18 points.Full GP3 race 1 results