Following a four week summer break, the GP3 Series resumes to action for Round 6 of the 2013 season. And what a track to return too, the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium is a favourite of many drivers and fans.
But firstly let’s recap what happened at the Hungaroring for Round 5 and it was Finnish delight for Koiranen GP’S Aaro Vainio who secured victory after starting from pole in Race 1. Vainio also pocketed points for fastest lap and put himself firmly back into contention in the GP3 title chase. Conor Daly (ART Grand Prix) and Daniilsa (MW Arden) joined the Finn on the podium.
Reverse pole went to Robert Visoiu for Race 2 and the young Romanian claimed a lights-to-flag win ahead of his MW Arden teammate Carlos Sainz and Koiranen GP’s Kevin Korjus. Vainio and Visoiu both enjoyed their second victories of the season, and prevented the run of eight different race winners this year.
It was a weekend to forget for GP3 Series leader Tio Ellinas. The Marussia Manor Racing driver struggled in qualifying and failed to pocket any points for the first time this season. The Cypriot will be aiming to regain his highly competitive form and defend his one point advantage in the championship over ART Grand Prix’s Facu Regalia. Ellinas (91), Regalia (90) also have the chasing trio of Vainio, Jack Harvey on 75 points close in pursuit. With three rounds to go, the battle for glory is truly on!
ART Grand Prix hold the lead in the Team Standings with 236 points, with MW Arden and Koiranen GP next up on 157 and 150 respectively.
There is one change to the driver line-up this weekend with former GP3 driver Alexander Sims replacing Eric Lichtenstein at Carlin.
The Spa-Francorchamps is notoriously challenging and will be thrilling for the 27 drivers. The circuit is the longest on the calendar with 19 corners and as always with Spa the weather forecast is unpredictable, who knows what will happen?
Pirelli’s Racing Manager Mario Isola commented: “Spa is the ultimate test of skill for the GP3 drivers, as well as our Pirelli tyres. Everyone knows that Spa is demanding: it’s like a rollercoaster with the number of twists and turns it imposes and the smallest mistake can prove costly. For GP3, the teams will use the hard compound that should give the drivers maximum grip and durability on fast corners such as Blanchimont, Pouhon and Eau Rouge. Kimi Raikkonen tested the new-for-2013 GP3 car recently and enjoyed getting the most out of the tyres. The GP3 car is quicker now than ever before and combined with the demands of a tricky circuit like Spa, our tyres for this category will face the biggest challenge of the year so far."