Motorsport: Kiwi dominates in opening race

By Eric Thompson

Mitch Evans lead the field and took out round one in Valencia at the weekend. Photo / Charles Coates/LAT Photographic
Mitch Evans lead the field and took out round one in Valencia at the weekend. Photo / Charles Coates/LAT Photographic

Mitch Evans dominated race one of the GP3 series at the European Grand Prix Formula One in Valencia, Spain, at the weekend.

Evans led from start to finish after taking pole position in his MW Arden Dallara-Renault and moved back into the championship lead.

Evans completed the opening lap ahead of Aaro Vainio and steadily stretched the gap as the two traded fastest lap times.

Having won four points for pole position, Evans had a clean sweep of available points with the additional two points he claimed for setting the fastest lap.

It was his second win of the season and he moved two points ahead of Vainio going into race two.

"It wasn't easy," said Evans.

"Myself and Aaro were going pretty hard so it was a really close race. If I had made one mistake he would have been right on me."

Evans extended his lead in the championship with a solid sixth place in the final reverse top eight race of the weekend. He now leads Vainio by four points with a gap of 32 points back to Daniel Abt in third place.

Dixon still third

With an eighth-place finish in Friday's qualifying heat race, Scott Dixon started Saturday night's 250-lap race on row four of the grid. At the start of the race, he settled into the top 10 running order, remaining there for 68 laps.

He headed for the pits for the first time under caution on lap 70, getting back on track in sixth. On lap 100, Dixon made his second pit stop under caution, putting him on a different fuel-strategy than the majority of the field. He continued to work his way toward the front, eventually taking the lead on lap 157.

Dixon went on to lead most of the second-half of the race, but was chased down by Ryan Hunter-Reay, then Marco Andretti and finally Tony Kanaan.

Dixon remains third in the IZOD IndyCar Series with 271 points, 15 points behind leader Will Power.

- NZ Herald

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