GP3 makes Series history with maiden visit to Monaco

GP3 Series

Conor Daly, Lotus GP
Conor Daly, Lotus GP

Photo by: GP3 Media Service

The third season of the GP3 Series kicked off in Barcelona for Round 1 of the 2012 campaign and it was a thrilling start to the year with both rookies and the more experienced drivers impressing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

It was Carlin’s Antonio Felix Da Costa who grabbed the first pole position of the year, however Daniel Abt (Lotus GP) and the Carlin driver were both penalised for making jump starts after initially heading the race. Mitch Evans then moved into the lead and was able to maintain the gap to Marlon Stockinger (Status Grand Prix) until the chequered flag. Jenzer Motorsport’s Robert Visoiu started Race 2 from reverse pole but Tio Ellinas took the lead but was deemed to have made a jump start and received a penalty. Conor Daly (Lotus GP) went P1 and secured his debut victory in the Series ahead of Visoiu and Matias Laine (MW Arden).

Evans leads the Drivers Standings on 25 points and has a two point lead over Daly and Vainio on 23.

For the first time in the Series’ history, GP3 will race at the infamous Monaco! Monte Carlo is an extremely challenging circuit, one the drivers are extremely eager to get to grips with to impress as no mistake goes unpunished around the Principality. 18 laps of the 3.340 km track will be a mouth-watering prospect for the feisty class of 2012, there is action guaranteed!

Qualifying will be split into two groups for Monaco weekend: Group A will feature the odd numbered cars and Group B will be the even numbered cars. Each session will last 14 minutes long and the fastest driver overall from the two groups will claim pole position. A ballot will decide which of the two groups will run first. The second place on the grid will be awarded to the driver who has achieved the fastest time in the other group.

Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola commented: “The new tyre rules for GP2 are an exciting development that will introduce a bigger element of tyre strategy and management to the race weekend, making the GP2 Series even better preparation for the very pinnacle of racing. With two sets of the softer compound available to them at any point in Monaco, the GP2 drivers will need to think really carefully about when to use them, but they will end up with more experience of running on a faster compound, which needs to be wisely managed. For both the GP2 and GP3 drivers, Monaco is sure to be one of the biggest challenges that they will face all year. The key to success is staying out of trouble, so our P Zero compounds are designed to give as much control and precision to the drivers as possible. With very little aerodynamic downforce available, the cars rely mostly on mechanical grip.”

Groups declared for Monte Carlo split qualifying

For the first time in GP3 Series history, along with racing at the famous street circuit in Monaco, there will also be another unique element with a split qualifying session. The two sessions will last 14 minutes each. The fastest driver overall from the two groups will claim pole position. The fastest driver in the other group will take second place on the grid.

The 26 drivers have been divided into two groups (one of odd numbered cars, one of evens) and a ballot was done today to decide what Group will go out onto the track to compete for grid positions.

Group A will go out first and their group is:

Group A (evens)
2 Conor Daly
4 Mitch Evans
6 Matias Laine
8 Fabiano Machado
14 Marlon Stockinger
16 Alice Powell
18 Kevin Ceccon
20 Robert Visoiu
22 Jakub Klasterka
24 Antonio Spavone
26 Alex Brundle
28 William Buller
30 John Wartique

Group B (odds)
1 Daniel Abt
3 Aaro Vainio
5 David Fumanelli
7 Dmitry Suranovich
9 Tio Ellinas
15 Kotaro Sakurai
17 Carmen Jorda
19 Robert Cregan
21 Patric Niederhauser
23 Vicky Piria
27 Antonio Felix Da Costa
29 Tamas Pal Kiss
31 Ethan Ringel

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About this article
Series GP3
Drivers Marlon Stockinger , Conor Daly , Mario Isola , Alex Brundle , Carmen Jorda , Matias Laine , Kotaro Sakurai , Daniel Abt , Kevin Ceccon , Tamas Pal Kiss , Aaro Vainio , Mitch Evans , Dmitry Suranovich , Antonio Spavone , Ethan Ringel , Fabiano Machado , Tio Ellinas , David Fumanelli , Vicky Piria , Robert Visoiu , Patric Niederhauser , Robert Cregan , John Wartique , Alice Powell
Teams Carlin , Status Grand Prix , Jenzer Motorsport
Tags daly, evans, gp3, monaco, vainio