Cypriot ace secures maiden win in season finale
Mitch Evans - GP3 Series 2012 Champion! The final round of the 2012 season was a weekend you could not script. Ahead of Race 2, only one man could stop the New Zealander claiming the GP3 Series crown and that was Daniel Abt, who had to win the race with a no score from Evans to steal the honours. The German was leading whilst Evans had a problematic race but with a few laps remaining, Marussia Manor Racing driver Tio Ellinas romped home to his debut victory after passing the Lotus GP driver in the Series which clinched the title for the MW Arden driver in a nail-biting finish.
Giovanni Venturini (Trident Racing) started form reverse pole and made a clean getaway to maintain position. David Fumanelli went wide at the first chicane as did Evans in a repeat of yesterday's Race 1. The Series leader was on the move, after starting from P25 on the grid, he was up to P12 within a few laps.
Lewis Williamson (Status Grand Prix) and Vicky Piria (Trident Racing) were early casualties at the first chicane whilst Abt made the jump from P8 to P4. The rookie then began picking his rivals off, first Marlon Stockinger and then Fumanelli to go P2.
Evans knew what job he had to do, pick up two points for fastest lap by getting into P10 and he did it. At that point the trophy was his but he ran wide over a kerb and picked up a puncture which then caused him to visit the gravel trap. The MW Arden pitted for new tyres and got back into the race near the back of the field. The fight was on at the front with Ellinas and Abt duelling for the lead who both passed Venturini, with victory a must for the German. The top three were packed close together with Ellinas looking perilously quick.
Abt passed the Cypriot and was on course for achieving the title, but Ellinas wasn't ready to give in and with two laps to go, regained the lead and was able to defend the challenge from the Lotus GP driver to take the chequered flag and finish his season on a high. With Abt scoring 12 points, Evans triumphed with a two point advantage in the Series, after finishing in 20th after a disastrous race for the New Zealander but he will be lifting the GP3 Series crown aloft this evening.
Venturini pocketed third place, his best result of the season and maiden podium, ahead of Stockinger, Antonio Felix Da Costa, Matias Laine (who spun at the end of the race losing a few positions) and Robert Visoiu. Alice Powell for Status Grand Prix came home in eighth, achieving her first point finish of the season, a happy end to the year for her and becomes the first female driver to score points in the history of the GP3 Series.
The season has ended with a flourish and GP3 Series will be back next season, ready to entertain the fans and showcase the emerging talent with the new GP3/13 car. Roll on 2013!