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Race Report

2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe

Circuit: Valencia (E), Length 5,419 km, 23rd/24th June 2012, Rounds 5 & 6

Robert Visoiu (ROM), Patric Niederhauser (CH)

Niederhauser wins on the streets of Valencia

The GP3 Series met up once again on the fast and demanding street circuit of Valencia. Here they were one of the supporting races for the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe, the cars racing around the Juan Carlos I Marina in their third event supporting the 2012 Grand Prix Programme.


Race One Qualifying

Saturday, 23/06/12, 09.45 – 10.15, Weather: Sunny, 25°C

The track was already much cleaner in qualifying and the lap times were consequently about 2 seconds faster than in yesterday‘s free practice. Our drivers went steadily faster though it was the more experienced drivers who were better able to improve their times towards the end of the session. Robert and Patric, our rookies, therefore had to prove themselves in that dangerous mid field area. 19 cars were covered by less than 1.5 seconds by the end of the session.


Race One Grid
1st Mitch Evans (NZ) MW Arden 1:58.478
2nd David Fumanelli (I) MW Arden 1:58.511
3rd Aaro Vainio (FIN) Lotus GP 1:58.567
12th Robert Visoiu (ROM) Jenzer Motorsport 1:59.568
15th Patric Niederhauser (CH) Jenzer Motorsport 1:59.906


GP3 Series

Race One (30 Minutes)

Saturday, 23/06/12, 17.20, Weather: Sunny, 27°C

The air temperature was climbing by the time the race started. Robert got a good start and had already made up several places when he left his braking too late, hit another car in the rear, took to the air and finally hit the barriers. He had to abandon the race with a severely damaged car. Patric also got a good start and made up several positions by the end of the first lap. He was in 9th position by then and was able to avoid the happenings going on around him. A number of accidents meant the mid-field positions kept changing repeatedly, and Patric was able to put on a good show with some excellent lap times. He was soon putting pressure on Buller. The top ten seemed to be fairly static but Patric managed to get past Buller in a spectacular manoeuvre and was able to secure 8th place. That of course meant that he would start from pole position for race two.

The grid for the second race of the weekend is set by reversing the order of the first eight finishers in the first race, with the rest of the places set according to finishing order in the first race.

Results Race One
1st Mitch Evans (NZ) MW Arden 28:13.357  
2nd Aaro Vainio (FIN) Lotus GP Gap 2.190
3rd David Fumanelli (I) MW Arden Gap 12.571
8th Patric Niederhauser (CH) Jenzer Motorsport    
DNF: Robert Visoiu (ROM) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Mitch Evans (NZ) in 1:59.883


Race Two Grid
1st Patric Niederhauser (CH) Jenzer Motorsport  
2nd Kevin Ceccon (I) Ocean Racing Technology  
3rd Daniel Abt (D) Lotus GP  
21st Robert Visoiu (ROM) Jenzer Motorsport  


GP3 Series

Race Two (30 Minutes))

Sunday, 24/06/12, 09.25, Weather: Sunny, 24°C

Race two was also run under brilliant blue skies and in front of the beautiful harbour views. Abt shot forward at the start and nearly passed Patric, but Patric was in a better position to brake and managed to get the better line through the first corner combination to snatch the lead back. From there onwards Patric concentrated on keeping his foot on the throttle and not looking in his mirrors. During the race the three top drivers all set fast times, but Abt was never in a position to start an attack. From behind Ellinas piled the pressure on Ceccon and was able to get through shortly before the end to claim 3rd. Robert started this race in 21st position based on his Race One finishing place. Very soon he was up to 15th and he continued to move up the order place by place. His lap times were comparable to those set by the top five and he was very annoyed about his race one result but he did atone for it by fighting his way up to a respectable 12th place by the end. Patric drove a flawless race and thoroughly deserved to cross the finish line in first place. He was delighted with his first win in this very tough series. There were changes after the race though with Laine finally being awarded 3rd place after Ellinas was fined for forcing Ceccon off the track.

Results Race Two
1st Patric Niederhauser (CH) Jenzer Motorsport 28:13.702  
2nd Daniel Abt (D) Lotus GP Gap 0.924
3rd Matias Laine (FIN) MW Arden Gap 5.938
12th Robert Visoiu (ROM) Jenzer Motorsport    
Fastest lap: Antonio Felix da Costa (P) in 1:59.842


Championship standings after 6 out of 16 races:

1st Mitch Evans (NZ), 78 points; 2nd Aaro Vainio (FIN), 74 points; 3rd Daniel Abt (D), 42 points; 4th Matias Laine (FIN), 40 points; 5th Marlon Stockinger (PHI), 39 points; 6th Patric Niederhauser (CH), 39 points; 13th Robert Visoiu (ROM), 16 points

2011 GP3 Series

12th/13th May 2012 Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Barcelona (E)
26th/27th May 2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix de Monaco Monte Carlo (MC)
23nd/24th June 2012 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe Valencia (E)
7th/8th July 2012 Formula 1 British Grand Prix Silverstone (GB)
21st/22nd July 2012 Formel 1 Grosser Preis von Deutschland Hockenheim (D)
28th/29th July 2012 Formula 1 Ing Magyar Nagydij Budapest (HU)
1st/2nd September 2012 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps (B)
8th/9th September 2012 Formula 1 Gran Premio d’Italia Monza (I)

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