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Varhaug storms to GP3 victory in Barcelona

Pal Varhaug created history by taking the first-ever race victory in the new GP3 Series.
Jenzer Motorsport driver Pal Varhaug pulled away from the rest of the field at Circuit de Catalunya to take a historic victory in the first ever GP3 Series race.

The young Norwegian led from start to finish, managing race-long pressure from Status' Robert Wickens and snatching a win that restores Jenzer to the forefront of international motorsport.

After difficult conditions during morning qualifying, the race proved to be a different story. When the lights went out, track temperature was 33 degrees and the sun was shining brightly, but the first-ever GP3 Series start still included a couple of casualties. Canadian Daniel Morad flew across the grid but, unfortunately for the rest of the field, the Status GP car was sideways, and a slow starting polesitter Nigel Melker ended up a casualty of the carnage. By the end of the first lap, both were in pits, as Varhaug took the lead.

Esteban Gutierrez also had a storming start and, by the end of the first lap, had moved up from seventh to third and, from then on, spent a frustrating 15 laps behind Wickens, who was busy trying to reduce the gap between him and Varhaug. The Canadian put in a strong performance to hold off the charging Mexican and, despite the ART driver's best efforts, wouldn't yield, so Gutierrez had to settle for third.

By the end of lap four, there were more wounded, as Michael Christensen and Felipe Guimaraes had a tussle that prematurely ended both the MW Arden and Addax Team drivers' races, and a feisty Josef Newgarden and Pablo Sanchez Lopez also touched, putting each other out of the remainder of the race.

The top three, meanwhile, were status quo, with Varhaug holding his own at the front of the field to take the victory by 1.563secs ahead of Wickens and Gutierrez.

In fourth place, Carlin's Dean Smith had a relatively lonely race, coming home 3.276secs ahead of GP3 latecomer Jean-Eric Vergne, running with Tech 1 Racing. Simon Trummer, meanwhile, couldn't match his race winning team-mate, but still finished in a strong sixth spot.

Further down the field, Alexander Rossi, who started at the back of the grid, put in an impressive performance, making his way up into 15th by the end of the first lap and pushing thereafter to eventually finish eighth behind Carlin's Lucas Foresti and claim pole position on the partly-reversed Sunday race grid.


Tagged as: GP3 , Jenzer , pal varhaug

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Pal Varhaug - Jenzer Motorsport
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) celebrates in Parc Ferme after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) heads to the podium after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) on the podium after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing) on the podium after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Dean Stoneman (GBR, Marussia Manor Racing), Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin), and Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) on the podium after race 2 at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Sunday 7 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) during practice at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. 6th September. Friday 5 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) during practice at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. 6th September. Friday 5 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP), Dino Zamparelli (GBR, ART Grand Prix) & Marvin Kirchhofer (GER, ART Grand Prix) celebrate after race 1 at the  Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 6 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) celebrates after race 1 at the  Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 6 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) is sprayed with champagne after race 1 at the  Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 6 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) in action during practice at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Friday 5 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) in action during practice at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Friday 5 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) wins pole at the Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. Saturday 6 September 2014. (Photo: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Jenzer Motorsport) during practice at Autodromo di Monza, Monza, Italy. 6th September. Friday 5 September 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win on the podium with Richie Stanaway (NZL, Status Grand Prix) at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin), takes the chequered flag at Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Series Media Service.)
Alex Lynn (GBR, Carlin) celebrates his win in Parc Fermeat Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium. Sunday 24 August 2014. (Photo: Jed Leicester/GP3 Series Media Service.)

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