ART's, Rossi Grabs first GP3 Victory at Spain Opener
Barcelona, Spain - May 9, 2010 Alexander Rossi scored a resounding victory in the opening weekend of the new GP3 series in Barcelona on Sunday, May 9. After problems in qualifying on Saturday, Alexander started the feature race from 28th position (last row) for this inaugural, historic race start.
As the lights went out, the 18-year-old Californian immediately showed his class. In an incident-strewn opening lap, Alexander overtook 13 cars. Over the race distance, he worked his way up to finish eighth, carving the pack on the 4.655km (2.893m) Circuit de Catalunya.
Finishing 8th meant, starting from pole for Sunday's sprint race and Alexander maximized his opportunity. Rossi led the pack cleanly into Turn 1 and methodically pulled away from the field, winning by over 10 seconds. In easing his way to victory, he set fastest lap and the quickest lap of the GP3 weekend.
Standing in the center of the podium beneath the US flag, the 2008 Formula BMW America and World Champion could also reflect on a great opening GP3 weekend for his Paris-based ART Grand Prix team. The ART crew worked all night on Saturday preparing race cars for their first and historic GP3 victory.
"What a great day both for us and the team," said Rossi. "We had a lot of ground to make up after failing to complete the qualifying session. After that, I just focused on making up lost ground. I enjoyed the race on Saturday afternoon, the car was great to drive. It was my goal to finish 8th or better and we accomplished that. On Sunday, my ART team gave me another great race car and owe them a big thank you for working all night, preparing my car."
"Alexander did a fantastic race today, starting from pole position and leading the whole race", said Nicolas Todt, co-owner of ART Grand Prix. "After a difficult qualifying, he reacted well in race one and did the job in race two. It's a strong result for the team and for him. I'm sure more successes will come."
Rossi's team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, finishing third in both Spanish races. Gutierrez currently lies 3rd in GP3 Championship with 10 points and Rossi 4th with 8 points.
The next round of the GP3 series takes place in Istanbul, Turkey, May 28, 29 and 30, alongside GP2 and Formula 1.
2010 is the inaugural year for GP3 Series, commencing with a strong foundation managed by series organizer Bruno Michel, as a direct feeder into the GP2 and Formula 1.