GP3

Istanbul: Series preview

After a gripping inaugural GP3 round in Barcelona, which saw PÃ¥l Varhaug claim the historical first ever GP3 Series race win, the Series now heads to Istanbul. As predicted the 2010 season started with a bang, and proved what a close summer of...

After a gripping inaugural GP3 round in Barcelona, which saw Pål Varhaug claim the historical first ever GP3 Series race win, the Series now heads to Istanbul.

As predicted the 2010 season started with a bang, and proved what a close summer of racing we have to look forward to. At Circuit de Catalunya three weeks ago, RSC Mucke Motorsport's Nigel Melker snatched pole position for race one, but it was Jenzer's Pål Varhaug who battled into the lead and took the first ever GP3 Series race win. The Norwegian driver fended off second place man Robert Wickens and ART's Esteban Gutièrrez to earn a well deserved 10 points.

Alexander Rossi showed what a difference a day makes. After a disappointing qualifying session the American driver started race one from the back of the grid and looked set for a less than successful weekend. However, a dogged performance from the impressive American saw him finish the race in eighth spot earning him pole for race two. Rossi went on to take a lights to flag victory finishing 10.53 seconds ahead of second place man Lucas Foresti.

Robert Wickens is the man leading the driver standings heading into Istanbul after solid second and fourth place finishes in Barcelona. The Status GP driver currently has 11 points, and is just one point clear of his nearest rivals Pål Varhaug and Esteban Gutièrrez heading to Istanbul. However, in the teams' classification it is French team ART on top thanks to strong performances from both Rossi and Gutièrrez.

Unlike Circuit de Catalunya, this weekend will mark the first visit to Istanbul Park for the majority of the thirty GP3 drivers. Getting to grips with the challenging layout of the circuit and managing tyre-wear will be crucial in the battle for victory, as Pirelli's Racing Manager Mario Isola explains:

"We considered the hard compound tyre for Istanbul but, after considering the degradation issue with the organisers, we decided to go with the medium compound tyre," said Isola. "After checking the tyre following the races in Barcelona, we saw the tyre wear had been very good and very consistent but perhaps too consistent for what we are trying to achieve.

"In Turkey we will have higher temperatures than Barcelona for sure, and we will have to pay attention to that. That will be a new experience but it will be good for collecting the data we need because we will consider making adjustments to the specification of the tyres if it's necessary."

We have three driver changes of note in Istanbul. Mikhail Aleshin will make his GP3 debut filling in for Lucas Foresti at Carlin. Stefano Coletti makes a welcome return to Tech 1 Racing after successfully testing for the team earlier in the year. The Monegasque driver takes over the #27 car from Daniel Juncadella. Also at Tech 1 Racing, Jim Pla will be filling in for Jean-Eric "JEV" Vergne.

The action will start this Friday with a practice session at 17:00 pm local time so check the website for all the latest news and results.

-source: gp3 seires

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About this article
Series GP3
Drivers Robert Wickens , Mikhail Aleshin , Stefano Coletti , Alexander Rossi , Esteban Gutierrez , Daniel Juncadella , Pal Varhaug , Mario Isola , Lucas Foresti
Teams Mücke Motorsport , Status Grand Prix , Carlin