ART Grand Prix’s Facu Regalia celebrates first GP3 win in Germany
Job done! Pole position and a lights to flag victory for Argentine driver Facu Regalia in Race 1 of Round 4 of the 2013 GP3 Series season. It was his maiden victory in the category and a special day for ART GP, with the team celebrating their 20th win in the Series. The emotion literally swept Regalia off his feet in parc ferme, with Marussia Manor Racing’s Tio Ellinas in second extending his Series lead and ART Grand Prix’s Jack Harvey third.
Regalia made the perfect getaway with Ellinas holding station in second, whilst Harvey got the jump on Alex Fontana’s Jenzer Motorsport car, the Swiss driver losing several places. There were a few incidents at the start with Koiranen GP’s Kevin Korjus tagging the back of Fontana on lap one, which took the rear wing off the Jenzer Motorsport car. The Estonian driver was issued with a drive through penalty when in seventh position and later retired.
There was also frustration for several teammates when Luis Sa Silva (Carlin) made a move on the inside of Status Grand Prix’s Josh Webster and collected his teammate Eric Lichtenstein which put them both out of the race. There was contact again a few moments later when Jimmy Eriksson also got together with Webster, with both drivers having a premature end to Race 1.
Regalia put his head down and made progress at the front, building an early advantage, that would finish as a massive seven second lead. There was an early safety car deployed when there was small debris on track and Daniil Kvyat’s MW Arden machine stopped on the circuit. Once the safety car came back in, Regalia made the most of his advantage and kept Ellinas and Harvey at bay. The Brit was all over the Cypriot until the chequered flag, keen to find a way past and managing to stay within half a second, but the Series leader defended with all of his might. Behind the trio at the front was Lewis Williamson (Bamboo Engineering) and Nick Yelloly (Carlin).
Conor Daly (ART Grand Prix) was keen to make an impression and spent the race fighting with Dino Zamparelli, the duo finishing in the points. Another person on the move was Patric Niederhauser who moved his way up through the field but didn’t manage to squeeze into a points position.
At the chequered flag, the day belonged to Regalia and ART Grand Prix, bringing home a first and a third with Ellinas pocketing more points in the championship with second. Williamson, Yelloly, Carlos Sainz (MW Arden) completed the top six. Melville McKee (Bamboo Engineering) scored his first points of his rookie GP3 campaign with seventh with Alexander Sims (Status Grand Prix) coming home eighth, the Brit will start tomorrow’s Race 2 from reverse pole. Zamparelli and Daly were the final two points scorers.
Ellinas holds control of the Drivers’ Standings on 87, with Regalia moving up the order to P2. The Argentinian also collected two further points for fastest lap and is on 72 points, with Kevin Korjus on 59. ART Grand Prix teammates Harvey and Daly are on 57 and 52.
ART Grand Prix increase their advantage in the Teams Standings with 181, with Koiranen GP on 103 and MW Arden on 93.
Race 2 starts at 09.20 local time tomorrow, so far it’s been seven different winners from seven races, will we see eight?