Wickens wins dramatic race in Hockenheim Status GP's Robert Wickens has claimed his first GP3 Series race victory in style today moving himself into second spot in the Series standings. After an abandoned start and second formation lap Race 1...
Wickens wins dramatic race in Hockenheim
Status GP's Robert Wickens has claimed his first GP3 Series race victory in style today moving himself into second spot in the Series standings.
After an abandoned start and second formation lap Race 1 at Hockenheimring got underway, but before the first lap was complete chaos ensued. Polesitter Josef Newgarden (promoted after practice penalties) had a good start off the line, but it wasn't enough to hold off a charging Wickens. The Status driver passed both James Jakes from Manor Racing and Newgarden in quick succession, but before the Canadian could make the most of his lead the safety car was deployed for a race incident further down the grid - Jenzer Motorsport's Nico Mullerr, RSC Mucke Motorsport's Nigel Melker, MW Arden's Miki Monras and Leonardo Cordeiro and Carlin's Lucas Foresti all collided in Turn 2 and had to retire.
Wickens held on to his lead at the restart, but Newgarden's race went from bad to worse when he was passed by RSC Mucke Motorsport's Renger van der Zande and ART Grand Prix's Esteban Gutierrez. However, the restart was short lived when Status GP's Daniel Morad, ART's Alexander Rossi and MW Arden's Michael Christensen clashed causing the second red flag of the race and prematurely ending the race for all three, albeit Morad continued for a further four laps.
After the second restart the field settled into the remainder of the race but lap 6 saw the end of the race for three more drivers: Manor Racing's Rio Haryanto, Addax Team's Pablo Sanchez Lopez and RSC Mucke's Tobias Hegewald after the three came together. Wickens started putting clean air between him and second placed man Jakes and consistently posted fastest laps throughout.
By the final stages of the race the top four had pulled away from the remainder of the pack with over five seconds between them and fifth place man Stefano Coletti, the Tech 1 Racing driver capitalising on others' misfortune to move up from 14th on the grid.
The final drama of the race came on the last lap between Newgarden and Merhi. The Carlin and Atech CRS GP drivers' clashing putting an end to Newgarden's dismal race and promoting Daniel Juncadella to reversed pole position for tomorrow's race.
Wickens crossed the line to take his first victory followed by Jake and van der Zande took the final podium spot for RSC Mucke Motorsport despite race long pressure from Series leader Gutierrez in fourth. Coletti finished in fifth spot ahead of Addax Team's Mirko Bortolotti and the Italian's teammate Felipe Guimaraes. Juncadella took the final point of the race for Tech 1 Racing.
The action continues tomorrow at 09:25 local time with Race 2.