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Category: GP3

Alice Powell and Sportsman of the Year, Bradley SmithAlice Powell came away from the Oxfordshire Sports Awards as Sportswoman of the Year, for Oxfordshire. Alice faced stiff competition from Team GB athlete, Hannah England, who is British number 1 in the 1500m, and Izzy Taylor, an equestrian. However, the judges put Alice on top.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic year on the racetrack, with her first ventures into British Formula Three. These including a 2nd-place finish in the MotorSport Vision Formula Three Cup, and racing in the opening round of the 2013 British Formula Three Championship season at Silverstone.

With Formula 1 ambitions and vocal support from the likes of Prime Minister David Cameron – MP for her home constituency of Chipping Norton – the sky is the limit for Alice. The recognition from the Oxfordshire Sports Partnership with this award is a measure of Alice’s achievements this year, and demonstrates that she is certainly on the right track to success.

Photo by RP Photography By Design.

Carlin’s GP3 drivers made a promising start to the season finale in Abu Dhabi this morning. Alexander Sims finished second overall after being pipped to the top spot by newly confirmed F1 driver Daniil Kvyat by 0.028 seconds in the dying minutes of the session. Sims was joined at the top of the timing screens by team mate Nick Yelloly who was also a front runner throughout the session and ended fourth. Luis Sa Silva was for the majority of the session in the top half of the field and was 17th overall at the flag.

After a lengthy break since the last GP3 race in Monza in September, the GP3 drivers were on track again this morning around the Yas Marina Circuit. As the drivers set their first flying laps, Sims showed intent with an effort which put him fourth, while Sa Silva was just behind in fifth.

As the times started to tumble Yelloly was picking up the pace and went third quickest. 10 minutes into the forty minute session Sim was third, Yelloly fourth and Sa Silva 16th.

After a brief stop in the pits, Sim improved to second and next time round went quicker again to briefly top the timing screens. Both Sims and Yelloly remained competitive as the times dropped with Sims putting in a strong lap to go P1 with only a minute remaining. The Carlin man’s time looked to remain unbeaten until Kvyat posted a purple middle sector to better his effort by 0.028 seconds. Yelloly completed a strong session for the team in fourth place.

Reflecting on practice, Sims said, “It was a good practice session, probably the best of the year so far. We had good pace on used tyres although the car was moving around a little at the rear. We made a small change and when we put the new tyres on the balance was perfect. We’ve started the weekend off on a good footing.”

Fourth place man Yelloly added, “I’m pleased with how it went with this being my first experience of Abu Dhabi. I wasn’t quite up to the maximum on the braking on my fastest lap so there may have been a little bit of time to be gained there. We’ll sit down though and look at the data and see where more time can be made up. Being in the top five in practice is a good start though.”

The GP3 team will be back on track for qualifying tomorrow morning.

GP3 race winner Alexander Sims will stay with Carlin for this weekend’s GP3 race at Monza. Replacing Argentinian Eric Lichtenstein, Sims will join front runner Nick Yelloly and Angolan racer Luis Sa Silva in the penultimate round of the 2013 season.

With Eric Lichtenstein’s contract terminated due to non-payment of outstanding driver fees by Velociudad Driver Management, Sims stays with Carlin after taking a dominant win last time out at Spa, on his racing debut with the team.

It was a strong weekend overall for Carlin, with Yelloly and Sims in the top seven in free practice, demonstrating the technical understanding the Carlin team have of the 2013 GP3 package.

The pair almost made it a double Carlin podium in race two, as Yelloly followed home race winner Sims in a strong fourth place. Team mate Sa Silva meanwhile is consistently posting finishes on the edge of the top ten, with his first points seemingly just round the corner.

This weekend’s event will see the GP3 drivers take to the fastest circuit on the 2013 calendar, at the historic Autodromo di Monza. With few corners and long straights, the circuit usually provides some of the highlights of the season with slip streaming making overtaking a certainty.

Traditionally the final venue on the 2013 calendar, the Italian round will be the last European race weekend of the season before the GP3 drivers make their first visit to Abu Dhabi for the season finale. It was at the Italian circuit last year that Carlin driver Antonio Felix da Costa put in a spirited fight for the drivers’ championship, with some now infamous bump drafting down the start finish straight.

Trevor Carlin said, “Alexander did a fantastic job for us in Spa and is the epitome of a professional racing driver in his ability, feedback and attitude. To see him and Nick pushing each other on was a great help for the team and we have an even better handle on the car now. We head to Monza chasing similar if not better results for them both and Luis.”

GP3 action will kick off with free practice at 17.50 local time on Friday.

Nick YellolyCarlin’s Nick Yelloly has taken a brilliant podium position in the second GP3 Series race around the Nürburgring, Germany. Making a fantastic start from fourth on the grid the British racer made his way up to second place in the opening lap. The Carlin man would come home after 15 laps of racing to take a strong haul of points for his championship campaign in third. Team mates Eric Lichtenstein and Luis Sa Silva fought hard to gain positions and would finish in 21st and 22nd respectively following their difficult outing yesterday.

The second GP3 Series race got underway in warm conditions this morning with Yelloly lining up fourth on the grid while Lichtenstein and Sa Silva started 26th and 27th respectively following their first lap incident in yesterday’s race. With overtaking a rare sight here this weekend, the start was to be the all important element to this morning’s race – Yelloly made sure his launch was perfect as he stormed into the first corner. Looking likely to take the lead, the Carlin man was slightly blocked by Melville McKee in turn one however Yelloly came back well to snatch second position from Alexander Sims as the pack fed into the second corner.

Further back, and hampered by their race one non-finish, Lichtenstein and Sa Silva had made progress having started at the back of the grid and were running 21st and 23rd after the opening lap; making sure to get the most out of the tyres in these early stages.

As the race settled into a rhythm over the next few laps Yelloly initially was able to keep a good gap to Sims behind while cutting the time deficit to race leader McKee. However over the next few laps Sims began to latch on to the back of Yelloly; with the fellow British racer moving up on lap nine. Meanwhile Lichtenstein and Sa Silva were swapping positions in 21st and 22nd as they looked to catch those ahead and progress through the race – wanting to cut the gap to David Fumanelli ahead.

Yelloly ahead continued to run strong in third position and, with McKee’s tyres looking to be degrading in the closing stages hoped to close the gap, however the Carlin racer was to finish in a great third position – to add to his second placed finish last time out at his home round, Silverstone. Lichtenstein and Sa Silva finished what had been a tough weekend for the pair in 21st and 22nd

Yelloly said of his third position, ‘The start was good and if I wasn’t boxed in I think I would have taken the lead. From then I held position in second however Sims’ tyres were working well for him and I let him past when he came up behind me as the speed difference was too much. Third is good for us, it’s some nice points and now we go back, analyse everything and look ahead to next round.’

Photo by Alastair Staley/GP2 Series Media Service.

Facu RegaliaAfter setting the pole position time early in the morning at Nürburgring, the Argentine driver was unbeatable in race. He made a good start, pulled away and, despite a safety car period, won with a gap of more than seven seconds ahead of Ellinas. Now he´s second in the overall standings behind Cyprus´ Ellinas.

Facu Regalia has had a dominant Saturday at Núrburgring, grabbing the pole position and then taking his maiden win in the ultra-competitive GP3 series. Good sensations from free practice on Friday were confirmed in today´s qualifying session and the Argentine and his team – ART Grand Prix- didn´t want to miss this chance.

Regalia made a very good start, and he soon pulled away from Tio Ellinas, who was his strongest rival in qualifying. After just one lap, Regalia was two seconds ahead of Ellinas. Unfortunately the safety car was deployed and Regalia lost his comfortable lead on lap four. Despite this adverse fact Regalia kept in calm. When the safety hear headed to pit-lance, Regalia exhibited his strong race pace and, posting several fastest laps, he took a solid lead, finishing after fifteen laps first and over seven seconds ahead of Ellinas. After today´s race, and points scored after setting pole position and fastest lap, Regalia improves to 2nd place overall behind Ellinas.

“I feel really happy, because this victory is incredible. My car was perfect the entire race. The start, maybe one of my main concerns, was also perfect. I pushed as hard as possible from lap one and, despite the safety car period, kept in the lead until the end. To set both pole position and fastest lap was important for the championship too. We were eying the win since Valencia and we could put all together today”, Regalia said. The win was for “my parents, my manager Adrián Campos and everyone who is working with me. The prize for their effort is this win. Of course this triumph is for Argentina as well, my country, and the fans supporting me. It was incredible to be on top of the podium and the Argentinean anthem at the circuit”.

Tomorrow Regalia is going to start 8th on the grid and he focus on continuing with good results. Ellinas will start 7th.

Luis Sa SilvaThe final pre-season GP3 Series test has been completed this week following two days of running at a very cold Silverstone. For Carlin drivers Nick Yelloly, Eric Lichtenstein and Luis Sa Silva the test signals the final on-track running before the season gets underway in Barcelona next month.

The cold conditions over the course of the two day test ensured that track running was limited. Despite the cold weather and snow flurries all three Carlin men had a positive test – focusing on learning the 2013 GP3 car, completing practice starts while also simulating qualifying and race runs throughout both days of testing.

Having set the third quickest time in yesterday afternoon’s session Yelloly said, ‘It’s difficult to gauge where you are in such cold conditions because you can’t really feel the grip in the tyres. However yesterday, when it was a little warmer, we had really good qualifying and race pace so I definitely think we’re looking strong for the first round of the season.’

Eric Lichtenstein added, ‘We’ve spent the test continuing to learn. GP3 is a completely different level of car than I’ve driven in the past so with every test it feels as though I’m developing further. It was difficult today because the wind direction kept changing so pinning down the set-up was tough. But we have a lot of great data ready for the first round in Spain and that’s what matters.’

Luis Sa Silva commented, ‘These past two days have been so cold! I’m really not used to this type of weather. The first day of testing was quite difficult for me; I span on my new tyres and then lost a lot of running in the afternoon as a result. The second day was a lot better though; we did a lot of practice starts which all look good, and our race pace is also looking solid. Really, the biggest thing for me to learn has been the tyres because the ones I’ve raced on in the past have gone on and on. However the Pirelli tyres are completely different – you really have to manage them which adds another dimension to a race weekend.’

The first round of the season gets underway 10th-13th May in Barcelona.

Photo by Alastair Staley/GP3 Series Media Service.

Facu RegaliaGood start for the Argentine driver with his ART Grand Prix car, first for a while during the afternoon. Finally second fastest time half a tenth off-pace.

Facu Regalia had a great Wednesday at Silverstone, the English track where the GP3 pre-season tests come to an end. At the wheel of his Dallara GP3/13 lined-up by ART Grand Prix Argentina´s driver was second fastest in the cumulative ranking during a very cold day. In fact low temperature kept him in box in the morning and he didn´t complete a single lap. Then in the afternoon, with slightly warmer weather, Regalia was one of the fastest drivers on track since the beginning. With thirty minutes to go he was in P1, but then another driver, using an extra set of tires, managed to beat his time by half a tenth.

“It was a positive day. In the first practice session the team and I decided not to take part due to cold temperatures, but we proved it wasn´t a problem in the afternoon”, the driver managed by Adrián Campos said. “We made good improvements because the car had an increasing performance over the course of the afternoon, but anyway I´m convinced that both the car and I have room to be even faster. Thursday it´s going to be another important day to work with my engineer and finish the pre-season in style”, he concluded.

There are other two test sessions today.

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Facu RegaliaAfter the previous collective tests at Estoril and Barcelona, Argentina´s driver approaches his last chance to drive his ART Grand Prix car before the season start. Regalia used the simulator at his team´s headquarters last week in order to prepare properly the test.

Facu Regalia is back to racing at Silverstone, where is held the third and last GP3 collective test of the pre-season on Wednesday and Thursday. The Argentine driver, after five very positive days in February and March, at Estoril and Montmeló tracks respectively, has ended up regularly among top-5 fastest drivers in dry and wet conditions. Silverstone test will have a key role because of it´s going to be the last chance before the season opener.

“I really look forward to testing once again. It will be a very important opportunity, and I was in France to prepare it properly with my team. It will be important to exploit each single lap at Silverstone”, Regalia explained, adding that “despite holidays I´ve kept training in the gym and driving the go-kart to keep in good shape”. His goals for this week are quite clear, “finishing as close as possible to P1. I´ve been into top-5 places almost ever, and my intention is to keep it on there. My engineer and I will keep working on the car set-up and then to complete some race simulations and starts, this last one something to improve always. Let´s see how the weather is, because rain was a problem in previous tests”.

The 2013 season will have its first meeting at Circuit de Catalunya, next 10-12 May.

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Facu RegaliaAfter a rainy morning, when drivers couldn´t test as much as possible, the Argentine pilot was 6th fastest with his ART Grand Prix car in the afternoon.

Facu Regalia finished his first test day at Circuit de Catalunya yesterday, the track hosting the second collective test for GP3. The Argentine driver managed by former Formula 1 driver Adrián Campos completed forty-one laps in Barcelona. 10th in the morning session with a lap of 1:35.845, the new ART Grand Prix driver emerged as one of the fastest ones in the afternoon. First for a while, finally he finished 6th setting a time of 1:34.943, three tenths slower than the driver in P1.

“It was a good day, because we have had a good pace, just like at Estoril. In the morning we couldn´t complete as many laps as wanted but then, in the afternoon, we were able to test different set-up solutions. With our first set of tires I posted P1 time”, Regalia explained, adding that “then with the second set we made a few changes to solve a minor oversteer problem. We improved our previous time, but not enough to keep P1. Anyway I feel happy with results here. We´re working very well because, always in good positions in the rankings. Tomorrow we´ll keep working in the same way, and aiming for finishing in front”.

Instead of three test days like Estoril, Barcelona has scheduled just two finishing today.

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Photo by Malcolm Griffiths / GP3 Series Media Service.

Facu RegaliaThe Argentine driver starts tomorrow a new two-day test at Circuit de Catalunya, after debuting at the wheel of new GP3 car in Portugal last month. On the Spanish soil, where the season kicks off in May, Regalia will focus on the car settings and adaptation.

Facu Regalia continues working this week in Spain to prepare his 2013 season ahead, a year where he´s going to face another challenge in his career, the competitive GP3 driving for ART Grand Prix a new GP3/13 Dallara built car. After making his debut with his new car at Estoril (Portugal), Regalia is already in Barcelona for other two collective GP3 tests. Conclusions were rather positive in Portugal and, for this testing, his main goal is to get used to the GP3 car and developing his already good rapport with engineer.

“I´m looking forward to this test, being back in the car. I liked it at Estoril track, almost ever among fastest drivers. I´ve been training both physically and mentally during last weeks and no less important in go-karts to arrive in Barcelona in good shape”, Regalia explained. “The season is set to start here in May, so our settings have to be good enough for facing this debut in a good way. Montmeló is a great venue and I like it. In addition my racing memories are really good, mainly after my double win in the F3 Open last year”, the Argentine driver explained.

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