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Melker seals first victory in Istanbul

Melker seals first victory in Istanbul

07 MAY 2011

A faultless drive from Nigel Melker earned him his first GP3 Series victory at Istanbul Park today.

Poleman Tom Dillmann got bogged down at the start of the race leaving Tech 1 Racing’s Andrea Caldarelli and RSC Mücke Motorsport’s Melker to pass off the line. The Frenchman managed to hang on to third despite Lotus ART’s Valtteri Bottas’s best efforts to spoil Dillmann’s start even further. It was at the end of lap 1 that Melker then made his move to take the lead, and seal his first GP3 Series victory.

Dillmann tried to grab back a spot from Caldarelli, but was unable to find a way past the Italian, and before long the Carlin driver found himself defending from a charging Bottas. After an earlier spin off the track MW Arden’s Lewis Williamson found himself down the field battling with Leonardo Cordeiro midway through the race: the two drivers were locked in a wheel-to-wheel battle, during which pair touched wheels, and both cars spun off the track resulting in a roll from Williamson when his car hit the gravel trap. The safety car was deployed. 

At the restart Melker pulled away from second place man Caldarelli to give himself a few laps breathing space. For the remainder of the race the Tech 1 Racing driver slowly chipped away at Melker’s lead but was unable to get close enough until the last lap, as Melker had the race totally under control. Bottas was all over Dillmann’s back wing to the chequered flag, but was unable to find a way past and finished the race in fourth. Antonio Felix Da Costa finished fifth for Status Grand Prix, ahead of MW Arden’s Mitch Evans.

Dean Smith was set for reverse pole in Race 2 tomorrow, but the Addax Team driver went wide into the final complex allowing Michael Christensen to pass – the Dane then capitalized even further by passing Alexander Sims to take P7. Sims will start tomorrow’s race from pole position.

Race 1 results: 

POS

NO

DRIVER

ENTRANT

LAPS

TIME

GAP

1

31

N. MELKER

RSC Mucke Motorsport

15

28:13.773

 

2

18

A. CALDARELLI

Tech 1 Racing

15

28:14.378

0.605

3

15

T. DILLMANN

Carlin

15

28:16.715

2.942

4

2

V. BOTTAS

Lotus ART

15

28:17.613

3.840

5

5

A. FELIX DA COSTA

Status Grand Prix

15

28:18.183

4.410

6

26

M. EVANS

MW Arden

15

28:20.987

7.214

7

30

M. CHRISTENSEN

RSC Mucke Motorsport

15

28:24.381

10.608

8

4

A. SIMS

Status Grand Prix

15

28:25.486

11.713

9

25

D. SMITH

Addax Team

15

28:25.701

11.928

10

24

G. CHAVES

Addax Team

15

28:33.332

19.559

11

7

N. MULLER

Jenzer Motorsport

15

28:37.446

23.673

12

22

Z. AMBERG

Atech CRS GP

15

28:37.965

24.192

13

21

N. YELLOLY

Atech CRS GP

15

28:38.750

24.977

14

6

I. LUKASHEVICH

Status Grand Prix

15

28:39.953

26.180

15

17

A. VAINIO

Tech 1 Racing

15

28:40.127

26.354

16

19

T. PAL KISS

Tech 1 Racing

15

28:41.012

27.239

17

3

J. CALADO

Lotus ART

15

28:41.012

27.507

18

12

M. LAINE

Marussia Manor Racing

15

28:41.280

29.871

19

27

S. TRUMMER

MW Arden

15

28:43.995

30.222

20

23

D. STOREY

Addax Team

15

28:44.417

30.644

21

14

C. DALY

Carlin

15

28:45.109

31.336

22

1

P. NUNES

Lotus ART

15

28:45.839

32.066

23

8

M. ZIMIN

Jenzer Motorsport

15

29:07.704

53.931

24

10

  1. QUAIFE-HOBBS

Marussia Manor Racing

15

29:16.869

63.096

25

9

V. GHIRELLI

Jenzer Motorsport

 

29:16.869

63.096

26

11

R. HARYANTO

Marussia Manor Racing

 

 

1 LAP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29

L. BACHETA

RSC Mucke Motorsport

8

15:45.663

DNF

 

16

L. CORDEIRO

Carlin

3

5:41.926

DNF

 

28

L. WILLIAMSON

MW Arden

3

5:42.935

DNF

 

20

M. STOCKINGER

Atech CRS GP

1

2:00.927

DNF