Pal Varhaug became the GP3 Series' first-ever winner after a measured drive at the Circuit de Catalunya Saturday afternoon.
The Jenzer Motorsport driver capitalized on an awful start by polesitter Nigel Melker to take the lead, and then saw off a challenge from Status' Robert Wickens. The Canadian continued to harass Varhaug during the opening sequence of laps until he began to come under threat himself from Esteban Gutierrez.
The scrap for second allowed Varhaug some breathing space late in the race and he went on to secure the win by 1.5sec, while Wickens spent the closing laps fighting off repeated attacks from Gutierrez, eventually crossing the line just 0.3sec clear of the ART driver.
Dean Smith, Jean-Eric Vergne, Simon Trummer, Lucas Foresti and America's Alexander Rossi completed the top eight, the latter having done an outstanding job of working his way through the field after starting 28th following his spin early in qualifying.
Mirko Bortolotti also made solid progress after a mechanical problem forced him to start from the rear of the grid, the Italian working his way up to 16th in the Addax car. Things went from bad to worse for Melker though; the Dutchman being one of several drivers to be eliminated in opening lap incidents.