Hitech GP seal off the first round of the FIA F3 Championship with a podium finish, after Red Bull Junior driver Juri Vips secured the honours in Race 2 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The Silverstone-based team battled it out in a weekend packed with wheel-to-wheel tussles at the Spanish circuit. Following the merge of the FIA F3 European Championship and GP3 Series, an announcement made last year, the 3-car assault of Red Bull Junior Juri Vips, Renault Sport Academy driver Ye Yifei and former GP3 driver Leonardo Pulcini battled it out in the 30-car field.
With temperatures rising at the iconic circuit, the weekend got off to a good start with Vips qualifying in P2, Yifei in P10 and Pulcini in P24, setting their grid positions for the first race of the season.
The scene was set for the maiden FIA F3 race on a cool and dry morning in Spain. With several safety car interventions throughout the 40 minute race, Vips finished in P6, Pulcini in P20 and Yifei in P22.
Race 2 got underway on Sunday morning at the Spanish circuit, with the field starting on a reversed grid pole in a mix up to the order as the final race of the weekend got underway.
With things quickly heating up, a dramatic first lap saw Vips battle it out for victory, after starting the race in P2. Dominating the front of the pack, the Red Bull junior withheld the field of drivers, taking the chequered flag in second place. Yifei got caught up in traffic in turn 1 as several drivers got caught up in a collision which sent him into the gravel, with nowhere to go. Pulcini crossed the finish line in P21.
Hitech took home an impressive 20 points after the first round in Barcelona, occupying third place in the teams standings. The squad will head to Circuit Paul Ricard in France for the second round of the FIA F3 Championship on 21-23 June.