Adrian Quaife-HobbsAdrian Quaife-Hobbs drove a faultless race to take a convincing lights to flag victory in the latest rounds of the GP3 Series in Valencia on Saturday. The 20 year-old started from the second row and after leaping into the lead at the start was never headed as he went on to record his maiden series win and the fastest lap of the race.

Adrian kicked off the weekend with a scintillating pace in qualifying, which saw him top the times for much of the session. However on his final flying lap the Marussia Manor Racing star was heavily baulked in the last sector, after setting the fastest time in the first two, dropping him to third fastest of the 30 runners.

In the race on Saturday afternoon, Adrian made a superb start to get the jump on the front row starters to take an immediate lead. A safety car period on the opening lap, when two cars tangled mid-field, failed to put Adrian off his stride and at the restart the Tonbridge racer made another impeccable getaway to hold position.

Posting fastest lap several times throughout the race, Adrian gradually pulled away at the front, opening up a 6.3 second advantage at the flag, and the fastest lap to add to his joy and gaining him an additional point.

With the top eight reversed for Sunday morning’s second race, Adrian lined up on the fourth row and at the start gained two places after another lighting getaway. However a master cylinder problem early on, which led to a braking issue, ended his chances of moving through the field and resulted in him having to brake far earlier into the corners.

This prevented him from achieving what would likely have been a podium finish, allowing two of his rivals through, and winding up eighth. Despite this, Adrian was very happy to have scored his first GP3 victory and delighted with a return to form as he heads into his only UK appearance on the year, at Silverstone in two weeks time.

“Winning is a fantastic feeling,” he said. “The team did an extremely good job this weekend, giving me a good car for qualifying, where I was consistently fastest for much of the session. Only when I got held up on my flying lap did I get pushed down to third, but I was very happy with our pace and confident going into the race.

“The car was perfect. I got off to a great start and took the lead early on and just pushed the whole way. I was gradually pulling away with each lap and ended up winning by more than six seconds and with fastest lap, which reinforces the superb pace we had.

“Today, however, after a great start where I was challenging for fifth, we had a problem with the master cylinder which meant I wasn’t able to brake as late as I should, and as late as the other drivers, which was frustrating. The car was great on the straights, very fast and I was very happy with that, but sadly I had to brake so early into the corners I was passed by a couple of drivers. Without that I’m fairly certain we could have had a podium. But overall it’s been an excellent weekend and great to win on a street circuit.

“We’ve shown great pace all weekend and it really bodes well for our home race in two weeks time. It shows how hard we’ve worked in the four days in testing and hopefully we can keep the momentum going forwards into Silverstone.”

The next double-header rounds of the 2011 GP3 Series take place over the weekend of 9/10 July at Silverstone’s British Grand Prix meeting in Northamptonshire.

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