Tio Ellinas' 2013 GP3 season has been a tale of frustration, one that started so well and promised so much with pole and victory in the very first race of the year at Barcelona back in May, but which had slowly unravelled over the rest of the season with setbacks at Spa and Monza proving particularly damaging to his championship hopes.

But at least in the final race of the year at Abu Dhabi, the 21-year-old Cypriot was able to shake off such disappointments and claim the final race win of the year for Marussia Manor Racing. Getting underway under the scorching midday sun that was such a profound contrast to the night time race 1, Ellinas launched himself off the front row and easily outran a slow-starting Patrick Kujala into the first corner. Kujala was also passed by his Koiranen GP team mate Dean Stoneman who had got a terrific launch off the second row, and then the polesitter was also unable to fend off Conor Daly for third spot through the corner.

After his poor start, Kujala's fortunes did not improve. He lost fourth place to ART's Jack Harvey at the start of the second lap, and then on lap 5 succumbed to newly crowned GP3 champion Daniil Kvyat. The F1-bound teenager was having the sort of exuberant final outing in the series that comes of having nothing more at stake than enjoying the race for its own sake, allowing him to try the sort of daring moves that he would never have risked if the title was still in play.

Thereafter, Kujala's main contribution to the race was to bottle up the drivers behind him led by Carlin pair Nick Yelloly and Alexander Sims, frustrating them with his slow overall pace but greater straight line speed making him difficult to pass until for lap after lap. Finally Kujala's pace dropped off the proverbial cliff, and the final laps had something of a nightmare quality for the 17-year-old Finn and he was passed by all and sundry as he collapsed to 16th place.

Up front Ellinas had managed to pull out a two second lead during the race, only to get reeled in again near the end by Dean Stoneman who was making an impressive return to open wheel racing after the interruption to his motorsports career for treatment for testicular cancer. Ellinas was able to hold on to the win despite the 23-year-old Briton closing up to within three tenths of the leader at the chequered flag, with Daly less than half a second further back as he succeeded in holding off a concerted late effort from Harvey to join them on the final GP3 podium of the year.

In a fitting touch with which to sign off the season, all 26 competitors who started the event went on to finish the race and were on the lead lap as the curtain came down on the 2013 championship.

Race 2 results

1. #14 Tio Ellinas Marussia Manor Racing 27:59.709s (14 laps)
2. #27 Dean Stoneman Koiranen GP + 0.293s
3. #1 Conor Daly ART + 0.774s
4. #3 Jack Harvey ART + 1.231s
5. #6 Daniil Kvyat MW Arden + 1.865s
6. #8 Nick Yelloly Carlin + 5.507s
7. #9 Alexander Sims Carlin + 7.964s
8. #16 Dino Zamparelli Marussia Manor Racing + 16.528s
9. #23 Giovanni Venturini Trident + 16.726s
10. #12 Alex Fontana Jenzer Motorsport + 17.149s
11. #5 Robert Visoiu MW Arden + 17.894s
12. #28 Kevin Korjus Koiranen GP + 21.765s
13. #24 Robert Creegan Trident + 22.332s
14. #25 Emanuele Zonzini Trident + 22.676s
15. #11 Patric Niederhauser Jenzer Motorsport + 23.253s
16. #2 Facu Regalia ART + 24.575s
17. #7 Luis S? Silva Carlin + 26.909s
18. #4 Carlos Sainz Jr. MW Arden + 27.365s
19. #26 Patrick Kujala Koiranen GP + 34.660s
20. #21 Alice Powell Bamboo Engineering + 36.238s
21. #18 Adderly Fong Status GP + 41.130s
22. #19 Josh Webster Status GP + 44.113s
23. #22 Carmen Jord? Bamboo Engineering + 49.998s
24. #15 Ryan Cullen Marussia Manor Racing + 69.299s
25. #10 Sam?n G?mez * Jenzer Motorsport + 69.861s
26. #17 Jimmy Eriksson Status GP + 82.070s

Fastest lap#8 Nick Yelloly Carlin 1:58.487 (104.854mph) on lap 11

* includes 20-second time penalty for causing a collision with Ryan Cullen

Final 2013 championship standings

Driver
1. Daniil Kvyat 168pts
2. Facu Regalia 138pts
3. Conor Daly 126pts
4. Tio Ellinas 116pts
5. Jack Harvey 114pts
6. Nick Yelloly 107pts
7. Kevin Korjus 107pts
8. Alexander Sims 77pts
9. Aaro Vainio 75pts
10. Carlos Sainz Jr. 66pts
11. Robert Visoiu 44pts
12. Lewis Williamson 44pts
13. Patric Niederhauser 33pts
14. Melville Mckee 31pts
15. Giovanni Venturini 26pts
16. Dean Stoneman 20pts
17. Alex Fontana 18pts
18. Dino Zamparelli 13pts
19. David Fumanelli 6pts
20. Patrick Kujala 5pts
21. Adderly Fong 2pts

Team
1. ART Grand Prix 378pts
2. MW Arden 278pts
3. Koiranen GP 207pts
4. Carlin 168pts
5. Marussia Manor Racing 129pts
6. bamboo engineering 75pts
7. Jenzer Motorsport 51pts
8. Trident 32pts
9. Status Grand Prix 18pts

 

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