Filipino-Swiss Stockinger takes his first GP3 win with Status GP in the streets of Monaco
27/05/12 19:15 Filed in: GP3 Series | LATEST NEWS
Stockinger takes his first GP3 win with Status GP in the streets of Monaco!
Filipino-Swiss ace Marlon Stockinger made history by winning the dramatic second GP3 Series race of the weekend in Monte Carlo with the Status Grand Prix team.
Stockinger’s achievement in this Monaco Grand Prix support race
, which he led all the way from pole position, means he is the
first driver from the Philippines to hear his nation’s Lupang Hinirang anthem on a European race podium.
Stockinger stayed composed all the way through a dramatic race, under serious pressure from Carlin driver Antonio Felix da Costa. He had got the jump on his Portuguese rival at the start, only to have to do it all over again when the safety car appeared due to a first-corner collision.
After the restart the gap was usually just two or three tenths of a second as Stockinger withstood everything da Costa threw at him. While the Status GP driver was racing on
Pirelli P Zero tyres that had already done 20 kilometres in qualifying, da Costa was on new rubber and was trying hard to get by while he had the advantage.
But as the race wore on Stockinger looked more and more in control, and on the 11th lap of 18 he set a new fastest lap that extended his advantage to seven tenths.
At that precise moment there was a big accident, which meant another safety car. With damage to the catchfencing at the chicane, it was decided to red-flag the race, leaving Status GP racer Stockinger an emotional victor. It moves him up to third in the GP3 points, with Status GP also making progress to third in the teams' championship.
While Stockinger had a perfect day in Monaco, there was disappointment for his two GP3 rookie team-mates.
Japanese driver Kotaro Sakurai stalled on the grid and got going towards the back of the field. Although he pulled off an impressive overtaking manoeuvre at the Fairmont hairpin on Carmen Jorda, he could not improve on 21st position.
Meanwhile, Alice Powell made contact with fellow English racer Alex Brundle at the first corner, knocking her steering completely out of alignment and damaging her front wing. After a brief pitstop she continued and caught up to Jorda, but was classified 23rd in the results.
The next round of the GP3 Series is another temporary course, this time in Valencia, supporting the European Grand Prix on June 22-24.
"This is something that has only previously happened in my dreams! To stand on the podium steps in Monaco, where people like Ayrton Senna once stood, is mindblowing. And for it to be after my first win in GP3 is incredible! The race was pretty close. The important thing was to focus on being consistent, refrain from mistakes and make a gap. Having fastest lap was good and not only because of extra points – it showed that I could have kept the lead even if the race had run to the finish and also proved that the team did a great job. I couldn’t have done it without those guys.”