Mitch Evans took his first career GP3 victory in commanding style in the first race of the weekend at Barcelona.
The MW Arden driver led from lights to flag, but it could have been so different had he not recovered from a sluggish start on the long run to the first corner. Evans bogged down as the lights went out, and fellow front-row starter Andrea Calderelli was immediately alongside. The Italian had the inside line for the drag race to Turn 1, but he did not have the straightline speed to stay alongside for the corner. After that, Evans was never under any pressure, and he set about edging away from the chasing pack to take a comfortable win.
Caldarelli ended up losing much more than a shot at victory, as a fast-starting James Calado (ART) got around the outside of him into Turn 1 on the opening lap, and Aaro Vainio took third from him just a few corners later.
Caldarelli spent the whole race putting his Tech 1 teammate under pressure, and it started to tell as Vainio repeatedly locked his left front wheel in the big braking zones in the latter stages. The Finn had two major lock-ups on the final lap, but neither were enough to allow Calderelli to get alongside.
There was no other action in the top 10 in what proved to be quite a dull race. Caldarelli had to keep an eye on his mirrors as Jenzer's Nico Muller was in striking distance throughout, but he never looked like making an attempt to pass.
Nigel Melker, Dean Smith and Tamas Pal Kiss rounded out the points, meaning that Kiss will start from pole position for race two on Sunday morning.