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Daly vaults to second in championship with big win in Valencia

What a dream weekend for American Conor Daly. Pole position on Saturday and a lights-to-flag win for the ART Grand Prix driver. It was made extra special for his French squad ART Grand Prix with Daly’s teammate Facu Regalia finishing in P2 just one second back. Koiranen GP rookie Kevin Korjus completed the podium.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am as an American to stand on the podium and hear our national anthem – very proud,” said Daly. “This is a great team effort and this is a great feeling.”

The race got underway under clear blue skies and warm temperatures with pole-man Daly streaking away from the start line after a near perfect start. There was an incident at turn 2 when Status Grand Prix’s Adderly Fong made contact with Trident’s David Fumanelli which put them both out of the race.

“I got a great start and immediately tried to get into a rhythm to save the tires and get strong exits from the corners,” commented Daly.

At the midway point, Daly was controlling the pace with Regalia in close pursuit. As the laps wound down, Daly pulled a safe one second cushion that he kept till the checkered flag. Daly crossed the line, celebrating in fine style with donuts at turn one – not something that GP3 has seen before. “If I won I wanted to celebrate,” commented a delighted Daly. “I was reprimanded afterwards but thankfully the stewards did not fine me. They looked cool on TV.”

This was Daly’s second win in the GP3 Series and his points haul vaulted him to the top of the championship table on 50 points, with Ellinas on 47 and Korjus on 33 after race one of the Valencia double header

For race two the top eight finishers from race one were started in inverted order with Daly lining up eighth. This time it proved almost impossible to pass and all eight drivers at the front finished in the order they started. At the conclusion of the two races Daly had made up 16 points on the championship leader, Tio Elias, to trail by just four points heading to Silverstone.

“Today’s race was not nearly as interesting until the last lap,” commented Daly. “My teammate tried a pass at turn one on the last lap and he slowed both himself and  Korjus down. I got a great run out of the corner, passed Regalia, and as I drew alongside Korjus to grab 6th place, he swerved to the left and drove me straight on to the grass. He was downright dangerous and afterwards said that he was so desperate not to lose the place that he took a chance and chopped me. My grassy moment let Regalia by again so I had to settle for 8th place. All in all it was a good weekend.”

In two weeks time GP3 moves to Silverstone in England before traveling to Germany on consecutive weekends.

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