Wickens wins season finale
Status Grand Prix's Robert Wickens won his third race of the season at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza today reaffirming his second place in the Series.
Canadian Robert Wickens finished his strong season on a high today after his disappointment on Saturday for losing the GP3 Series title to Esteban Gutierrez: starting from seventh, the Series Vice Champion made a stellar start to take control of Race 2 and snatched his third win of the season.
The start of the final 2010 race didn't run completely to plan. Carlin's Josef Newgarden started from promoted pole position after RSC Mucke Motorsport's Nigel Melker was sent to the back of the grid -- the Dutch driver stalled before the lights turned green and prompted a second formation lap. It was eventually a clean start, but Newgarden found himself bogged down off the line and was passed by Atech CRS GP's Roberto Merhi, Addax Team's Mirko Bortolotti and Wickens. Fast starting Wickens flew from seventh to second off the line and at turn 2 passed Merhi for the lead.
He was then untouchable for the rest of the race despite best efforts from the train of cars. The top six, which included Series champion Gutierrez and Jenzer Motorsport's Nico Muller, pulled away and a battle for the final points of the season begun.
As in yesterday's Race 1 it was the top six cars that ruled the tarmac. Constant overtaking made for a thrilling final race, but champion Gutierrez found himself a casualty of the legendary Italian circuit just laps from the end. The Mexican was lining up for a pass on Merhi, but spun out of a tow and out of the race - a disappointing end to his otherwise impressive season.
With the chequered flag approaching for the final time Italian Bortolotti held off a determined Muller for second spot at his home track. After an eventful battle with Gutierrez, Mehri finished in a somewhat lonely fourth spot, while Newgarden finished one and a half seconds down the road in fifth. The fight for the last point went down to the wire between MW Arden's Miki Monras, teammate Leonardo Cordiero and Status GP's Daniel Morad -- it was Monras who came out on top.
And so the chequered flag fell for the last time in 2010 with Wickens taking a deserved win to celebrate his second place in the standings with 71 points, and Nico Muller consolidating third this weekend with 53 points.
ART Grand Prix may have clinched the team championship last time out, but second and third were still up for grabs. After his win Status Grand Prix can call themselves the runner up, and Muller helped Jenzer move up from fourth to take third in the Series.
Next stop for GP3 Series is two three-day tests on 13-15th October in Estoril and 20-22 October in Jerez.