“Frijns takes maiden GP2 win amid Barcelona chaos (updated)”

© Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service.
© Malcolm Griffiths/GP2 Series Media Service.

Robin Frijns drove a pitch perfect race at Barcelona this evening to assume his first GP2 victory of the season.

The Hilmer Motorsport man took the win ahead of Carlin pairing Felipe Nasr and Jolyon Palmer; however the latter would lose 3rd to the stewards.

Starting 8th, Frijns – the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion – stopped at the end the end of the sixth tour, changing to the harder Pirelli tyres.
Emerging from the pits in 18th, the Dutchman edged up the order as tyre strategies evolved around him, eventually rising to 4th as Johnny Cecotto Jr, Tom Dillmann and Mitch Evans ran long first stints.
By lap 27, the road ahead finally cleared, allowing Frijns to claim the win, just 3.3s ahead of the charging Nasr.

For Nasr, runner-up represented an extension of his winless streak in his GP2 career. The Carlin racer initially lost out to Stefano Coletti at the start, however he would barge passed the hesitant Stephane Richelmi to regain 3rd.
Following his lap nine stop for fresh tyres, Nasr’s drove a quiet, conservative race until the latter stages, when his began to come alive. Moves on passed Alexander Rossi (lap 25), Coletti (lap 31) and Sam Bird (lap 33) brought Nasr to the rear of Palmer, but in passing his Carlin stablemate, the pair clashed, damaging Palmer’s floor. Nasr chased after Frijns, closing the gap to 1.7s on the penultimate tour; however the Dutch leader pulled away on the final lap to solidify the result.

It would get no better for Palmer. The Englishman collided with Bird on lap 36, pitching the Russian Time racer into retirement and earning Palmer a 20-second penalty, demoting him to 10th. This marked an unfortunate end to a decent for Palmer, who – like Frijns – pitted early, claiming positions on the road as rivals succumbed to tyre degradation.
With Palmer penalised, GP2 returnee Jon Lancaster took 3rd ahead of Coletti, while Dillmann made his long early stint work to secure 5th, despite being punted off at turn four by Richelmi.
Rossi enjoyed a quiet race to close the top six, just four-tenths up on Kevin Ceccon, while Cecotto Jr’s long opening stint could not match Dillmann’s similar efforts – the Venezuelan was classified 8th. Rio Haryanto took 9th, with the penalised Palmer now in 10th place.

It was not good day for poleman Marcus Ericsson who led in the initial running. Following his stop, Ericsson chanced upon a gaggle of cars in the final corners, resulting in a collision with Bird and Kevin Giovesi. The damage would see Ericsson drop out and would earn Bird a grid penalty for the Sprint race – he will now start 25th.
Nathanaël Berthon also picked up a grid penalty for somersaulting over Sergio Canamasas and Dillmann on lap five.

2013 GP2 Series round of Barcelona (Rd 3, Feature Race; 37 laps)
Pos  Driver               Team                     Time/Gap
 1.  Robin Frijns         Hilmer               1h00m38.896s
 2.  Felipe Nasr          Carlin                   + 3.316s
 3.  Jolyon Palmer        Carlin                  + 12.290s
 4.  Jon Lancaster        Hilmer                  + 12.609s
 5.  Stefano Coletti      Rapax                   + 13.329s
 6.  Tom Dillmann         Russian Time            + 14.325s
 7.  Alexander Rossi      Caterham                + 17.160s
 8.  Kevin Ceccon         Trident                 + 17.504s
 9.  Johnny Cecotto Jr    Arden                   + 24.013s
10.  Rio Haryanto         Addax                   + 32.024s
11.  Daniel Abt           ART                     + 32.823s
12.  Mitch Evans          Arden                   + 35.748s
13.  Julian Leal          Racing Engineering      + 39.922s
14.  Jake Rosenzweig      Addax                   + 40.999s
15.  Stefano Richelmi     DAMS                    + 42.690s
16.  Daniel de Jong       MP Motorsport           + 43.102s
17.  Adrian Quaife-Hobbs  MP Motorsport           + 54.532s
18.  Fabio Leimer         Racing Engineering      + 56.946s
19.  Simon Trummer        Rapax                   + 57.935s
20.  Rene Binder          Lazarus                   + 1 lap
21.  Sam Bird             Russian Time             + 4 laps
     Kevin Giovesi        Lazarus                  +26 laps
     Marcus Ericsson      DAMS                     +27 laps
     Sergio Canamasas     Caterham                 +32 laps
     Nathanael Berthon    Trident                  +33 laps
     James Calado         ART                      +36 laps
2013 GP2 Series round of Barcelona (Rd 3, Feature Race)
Pos Driver              Points
 1. Stefano Coletti     76
 2. Felipe Nasr         66 
 3. Fabio Leimer        54
 4. Sam Bird            33
 5. Robin Frijns        25
 6. James Calado        24
 7. Alexander Rossi     23
 8. Jolyon Palmer       23
 9. Tom Dillmann        22
10. Jon Lancaster       17

Pos Team                Points
 1. Carlin              89 
 2. Rapax               84
 3. Racing Engineering  64
 4. Russian Time        55
 5. Hilmer Motorsport   44

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