Tio Ellinas won the final GP3 race of 2013 in Abu Dhabi, fending off Dean Stoneman.
Ellinas’s repeat of his 2012 season finale win for Manor meant he book-ended his season with only his second victory of the year, having won the Barcelona opener, too. He grabbed the lead at the start as poleman Patrick Kujala made a slow getaway.
By lap five Ellinas had extended a 3.4-second lead over Stoneman, who leapt up to second at the start in his Koiranen car. But Ellinas’s early race charge took most of the life out of his tires, and Stoneman caught him with two laps to go.
Despite struggling with severe tire degradation in the closing laps, Ellinas clung on to his lead, crossing the line just a fifth of a second ahead of Stoneman, who was making his open-wheel return this weekend after recovering from cancer.
Conor Daly just held off ART teammate Jack Harvey for third, Daly having passed Kujala off the start and Harvey battling past him at Turn 2 on lap two.
Daniil Kvyat produced a champion’s drive to charge from eighth to fifth, passing Nick Yelloly at Turn 7 on lap three and then pulling a great move on Kujala at Turn 11 two laps later.
Yelloly got stuck behind Kujala for six laps, as his Carlin car appeared to lack the top speed of the Koiranen machine, but got past with a brilliantly improvised move at Turn 14, and teammate Alexander Sims also took the opportunity to leap past too. They finished sixth and seventh.
Dino Zamparelli made it two Manor cars in the points in eighth, as Kujala tumbled to 19th.
Former title contender Facu Regalia had a few off-track adventures on the way to a subdued 16th, with the penalised Carlos Sainz Jr. also struggling from the back of the grid, finishing 18th.
Results - 14 laps:Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Tio Ellinas Manor 27m59.709s 2. Dean Stoneman Koiranen +0.293s 3. Conor Daly ART +0.774s 4. Jack Harvey ART +1.231s 5. Daniil Kvyat MW Arden +1.865s 6. Nick Yelloly Carlin +5.507s 7. Alexander Sims Carlin +7.964s 8. Dino Zamparelli Manor +16.528s 9. Giovanni Venturini Trident +16.726s10. Alex Fontana Jenzer +17.149s11. Robert Visoiu MW Arden +17.894s12. Kevin Korjus Koiranen +21.765s13. Robert Cregan Trident +22.332s14. Emanuele Zonzini Trident +22.676s15. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer +23.253s16. Facu Regalia ART +24.575s17. Luis Sa Silva Carlin +26.509s18. Carlos Sainz Jr MW Arden +27.365s19. Patrick Kujala Koiranen +34.660s20. Alice Powell Bamboo +36.238s21. Adderly Fong Status +41.130s22. Josh Webster Status +44.113s23. Samin Gomez Jenzer +49.861s24. Carmen Jorda Bamboo +49.498s25. Ryan Cullen Manor +1m09.299s26. Jimmy Eriksson Status +1m22.070s