António Félix da Costa, twice on the GP3 podium Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic

 

António Félix da Costa won a fabulously dramatic GP3 Race 2 at the Hungaroring to clinch a fantastic double. Apart from the reverse grid for Sunday's race the weather also added another major factor as the track was soaking wet for the start of the 16 lap battle.

As saturday's winner, the Portuguese Red Bull Junior started back in 8th but was in a confident mood as the lights went out. The action started at the first corner with series leader Mitch Evans (NZL – Arden) spinning out of 5th place. 

Pole man Fumanelli also went off on the first lap so it was Matias Laine (FIN - Arden) leading from Conor Daly (USA – Lotus GP), Aaro Vainio (Fin – Lotus GP) and Kevin Ceccon (ITA – Ocean).

The big charger from the start was local hero Tamás Pál Kiss driving for Atec CRS , from 14th on the grid he was 5th at the end of lap 1 having got ahead of Daniel Abt (GER – Lotus GP) and Félix da Costa who lay 7th.

It was no longer raining but the track was very slippery. Evans got back to the pits and rejoined the race on slicks but it was a slow stop with problems with the right rear.

Laine continued to lead but was under great pressure from Daly, Vainio and Pal Kiss. Abt and Félix da Costa got past Ceccon on lap 3, then the 20 year old Portuguese passed the German a lap later and set off after Pal Kiss who was 4th. With the track drying some drivers chose to pit.

Félix da Costa went for slicks at the end of lap 9 as did Pal Kiss while Laine, Daly and Vainio stay out and led in that order. Abt stayed out and moved to 4th. Daly was trying everything to pass Laine but the leader defended and Laine could not make it stick.

Daly then paid the price for concentrating on Laine and got passed by Vainio. The damp patches were fast disappearing and offering less and less possibilities to cool the rain tyres so the leaders were going to be in trouble with their wets.

Félix da Costa had rejoined the race in 10th but got to grips with the conditions brilliantly on the slicks and started picking up places immediately. By lap 13 he was 5th and lapping much quicker than those ahead who were still on slicks. It was looking very good for the Red Bull.

The speed of the Carlin left now doubt about what was going to happen, it passed Daly for 3rd on lap 14 and the next time round went straight past Vainio for P2 and at the chicane took the lead from Laine.

The timing of his pit stop had been perfect and Félix da Costa won to complete a brilliant weekend as Laine and Vainio got swamped on the last lap and finished 7th and 8th. Almost 12 seconds behind the winning Carlin, Niederhausen had taken 2nd, passing Pal Kiss on the finish line. 4th was Brundle ahead of Ellinas and Williamson.

The maximum 37 points for the weekend moved Félix da Costa to 3rd in the points table and with Evans and Vainio only netting 17 and 15 respectively the 4 remaining races present great possibilities for the Portuguese Red Bull. 

1st Evans 138 points, 2nd Vainio 118, 3rd Félix da Costa 102, 4th Abt 94.

September 1st and 2nd sees the series move to Spa with the final weekend in Monza a week after. 

 


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