Saturday night in Abu Dhabi proved to be something of a historic moment, with the first night race in the history of the GP3 (or even GP2) championship anointing MW Arden's Daniil Kyvat as the 2013 series champion.

Kyvat had already been dominant in Friday practice and Saturday qualifying to claim pole position for the race, which was held under the floodlights of the 3.451-mile, 21-turn Yas Marina Circuit. He put that advantage to good use when the race got underway, quickly pulling out a lead over Carlin pair Nick Yelloly and Alexander Sims.

Koiranen GP's Kevin Korjus had a nightmare and stalled on the grid in third place, but fortunately was not caught up by any of the oncoming cars. However, the race was put behind the safety car moments later when Bamboo Engineering's Carmen Jorda spun and the car needed retrieving from where it had stalled.

That interruption hardly concerned Kyvat, who managed the restart with aplomb and quickly went on his way, eventually pulling out a four and a half second gap over the duelling Carlin pair, with Sims eventually getting past his team mate on lap 8 to secure runners-up honours albeit with no hope of hunting down the race leader in the time remaining.

Despite Kvyat doing everything he could, the title was not yet decided, with ART's Facu Regalia climbing up a position from tenth on the grid in the early stages. However the Argentine's day derailed when he ran wide over the chicane while under pressure from Marussia Manor's Tio Ellinas and he was handed a 20-second penalty by the race stewards that put him firmly out of contention for any points.

With Kvyat going on to clinch the bonus points for the fastest lap to those he had already sealed for pole, the 2013 GP3 championship was decided in the Russian teenager's favour. He will now sign off from the series in Sunday's race 2 and then focus on earning his F1 superlicense in preparation for his 2014 move to Scuderia Toro Rosso in place of Daniel Ricciardo. Kvyat may even appear for the team in free practice sessions at Austin and Sao Paulo later this month, according to team principal Franz Tost. (See separate story.)

Conor Daly missed out on a podium position on Saturday night, moving up to fourth spot with an early pass on Patric Niederhauser but was then unable to do anything about the Carlin barricade ahead despite an exciting battle to the finish with Yelloly. However with Daly's team mate Jack Harvey finishing in fifth, his efforts were enough to secure ART the team championship. As for Niederhauser, the Jenzer Motorsport driver subsequently retired after contact with Kvyat's team mate Carlos Sainz Jr. on lap 4 shortly after the restart. Sainz was subsequently excluded from the race results for dangerous driving over the incident.

Patrick Kujala will start Sunday's race from pole position alongside Ellinas under reverse grid rules after he finished in eighth place on Saturday night. It promised to be a very different affair, given that it will be in the sun and heat of high noon (8am GMT) and not the relative cool of the night time they enjoyed today.

Race 1 results

1. #6 Daniil Kvyat MW Arden 29:40.145s (14 laps)
2. #9 Alexander Sims Carlin + 4.677s
3. #8 Nick Yelloly Carlin + 7.053s
4. #1 Conor Daly ART + 7.411s
5. #3 Jack Harvey ART + 8.333s
6. #27 Dean Stoneman Koiranen GP + 14.900s
7. #14 Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing + 18.235s
8. #26 Patrick Kujala Koiranen GP + 26.882s
9. #16 Dino Zamparelli Marussia Manor Racing + 33.215s
10. #5 Robert Visoiu MW Arden + 34.100s
11. #23 Giovanni Venturini Trident + 34.781s
12. #28 Kevin Korjus Koiranen GP + 35.528s
13. #12 Alex Fontana Jenzer Motorsport + 36.041s
14. #25 Emanuele Zonzini Trident + 36.045s
15. #2 Facu Regalia ART + 36.957s
16. #24 Robert Creegan Trident + 38.133s
17. #18 Adderly Fong Status GP + 39.707s
18. #7 Luis S? Silva Carlin + 40.829s
29. #21 Alice Powell Bamboo Engineering + 41.277s
20. #15 Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing + 44.591s
21. #19 Josh Webster Status GP + 49.911s
22. #10 Sam?n G?mez Jenzer Motorsport + 90.470s
23. #17 Jimmy Eriksson Status GP + 1 laps

Retirements #11 Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport (retired on lap 4) #22 Carmen Jord? Bamboo Engineering (retired on lap 1)

Excluded #4 Carlos Sainz Jr. MW Arden

Fastest lap #6 Daniil Kvyat MW Arden 1:57.059 (106.133mph) on lap 5

Championship standings

Drivers
1. Daniil Kvyat 162pts
2. Facu Regalia 138pts
3. Conor Daly 116pts
4. Kevin Korjus 107pts
5. Jack Harvey 106pts
6. Tio Ellinas 101pts
7. Nick Yelloly 101pts
8. Aaro Vainio 75pts
9. Alexander Sims 75pts
10. Carlos Sainz Jr. 66pts
11. Lewis Williamson 44pts
12. Robert Visoiu 44pts
13. Patric Niederhauser 33pts
14. Melville Mckee 31pts
15. Giovanni Venturini 26pts
16. Alex Fontana 18pts
17. Dino Zamparelli 12pts
18. Dean Stoneman 8pts
19. David Fumanelli 6pts
20. Patrick Kujala 5pts
21. Adderly Fong 2pts

Team
1. ART Grand Prix 360pts
2. MW Arden 272pts
3. Koiranen GP 195pts
4. Carlin 160pts
5. Marussia Manor Racing 113pts
6. bamboo engineering 75pts
7. Jenzer Motorsport 51pts
8. Trident 32pts
9. Status Grand Prix 18pts