Stockinger takes his maiden GP3 win

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MARLON Stockinger drove to victory in round four of the 2012 GP3 Series in Monaco on Saturday, leading the second race of the weekend for the cars from pole position.

Driving for the Silverstone-based Status GP team, the victory was Stockinger’s first career GP3 triumph.

While Stockinger kept his cool at the head of the field, others behind caused mayhem as the race was twice interrupted by the Safety Car after both Will Buller and Conor Daly experienced upside down moments. The latter, which saw the former Walter Hayes Trophy winner catapulted into the debris fencing on the exit of the tunnel, after a collision with a slower car, saw the race halted due to barrier damage.

Stockinger said: “It was just about making the start work and remaining consistent. Around here, you also need a little bit of luck and I am glad it worked out in the end!

“I was just glad to bring the car home and do this for my team, all of them did a great job. The car was so nice to drive and I also got fastest lap which is a few extra points so really happy about that.

“It was a great weekend, I couldn’t have asked for more.

“So many times when you start on pole, you think you mustn’t let the pressure get to you so I would be wrong if I didn’t say I wasn’t thinking about the prestige of the event and the previous winners who have won here in F1, GP2 and now GP3. But at the end of the day I stepped up and took victory!”

Stockinger headed home Antonio Felix da Costa and Daniel Abt who completed the podium.

The previous day Stockinger had finished eighth in the opening GP3 race of the weekend won by Aaro Vainio.

The fast Finn now leads the GP3 points standings as the cars head for Spain and the next rounds of the championship on June 23-24.

Stockinger’s Status GP team-mates, Alice Powell and Kataro Sakurai, didn’t feature so strongly in the results. Powell on her Monaco debut scooped a best of eleventh, whil Sakurai’s best effort was 13th.