Following a five week break, GP3 returns for Round 2 of the Series – and to a brand new venue. This weekend sees the maiden visit to Spielberg, Austria on the exciting Red Bull Ring track. This will be the first time the majority of the GP3 drivers will have driven this circuit which will add to the extra challenge of this weekend. The drivers have concentrated on learning the track on the simulators and will be keen to be back in their car in what becomes a very hectic schedule for GP3, with four races in six weekends.
The opening round saw Carlin rookie Alex Lynn storm to an impressive start, pocketing pole position and his first race victory on the Saturday as well as bagging two further points for the fastest lap. On Sunday it was Marussia Manor Racing’s Dean Stoneman’s turn to jump onto the top step of the podium, the Brit also achieving his debut win in the Series.
Lynn leads the way in the Drivers’ Standings ahead of Richie Stanaway (Status Grand Prix), Jimmy Eriksson (Koiranen GP) and Stoneman.
This weekend there are two changes to the driver line-up. Russian rookie Nikolay Martsenko will drive the number 17 car at Hilmer Motorsport instead of Ivan Taranov whilst Italian rookie Riccardo Agostini replaces Beitske Visser in the #19 car at Hilmer Motorsport.
Pirelli have nominated the soft tyre for this weekend.
Pirelli’s Racing Manager Mario Isola commented: “For only the second time this year, we have GP2 and GP3 competing together, so it should be a busy weekend for us. That work is intensified because nobody really knows what to expect from this circuit. As a result, free practice will become even more crucial than usual, as the teams will have to ensure that they collect enough data to be sure of working out the best race and qualifying strategies before Saturday. The weather can be a very big variable in Austria, so if conditions are unrepresentative during Friday, this could interrupt their plans. In GP3, we’re confident that the soft tyre should cover all the conditions we might find, which can range from sunshine and warm temperatures to cool and cloudy weather. Having used the hard tyre in Barcelona, this will be the first time that GP3 uses the soft tyre this year.”
Warm Up with Koiranen GP's Jimmy Eriksson:
“I like the track a lot, it’s a very fast circuit. The first sector is very quick with long straights. Sector 2 and Sector 3 are also very fast but mainly just corners. There are only two corners which are slower ones which you take in second gear. The rest of the corners you do in the third and fourth gear so it’s really quick. For overtaking I think it will be quite good as you have the start/finish line and turn one, with a very long straight so overtaking into turn two is normally a good place to go for it. I don’t think it will be too hard on the tyres. I think it will provide a good racing weekend for the fans.”
Friday 20th JuneFree Practice 17.50 - 18.35
Saturday 21st JuneQualifying 09.45 - 10.15Race 1 Start 17.20 - 17.50
Sunday 22nd JuneRace 2 Start 09.25 - 09.55