Campos Racing and Pulcini make strong start to season with 4th place in Montmeló

Italian Pulcini grabbed the pole position for Saturday’s race one. Laaksonen and Menchaca also collected points on debut in the GP3 Series

Campos Racing started the 2018 GP3 Series season on the right foot continuing their excellent performances. Leonardo Pulcini, Simo Laaksonen and Diego Menchaca performed extremely well through the weekend in their Dallara GP3/16 cars at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The opening race weekend brings optimism for the rounds ahead.

Pulcini already posted a promising result in free practice session as the Italian driver posted the 3rd-fastest lap time with a 1m33.390s. No sooner said than done. Pulcini secured the pole position time in qualifying on his final flying lap. With a lap time of 1m32.258s, Pulcini managed to beat ART drivers to pole position. Laaksonen also delivered a strong result in qualifying by taking seventh spot on the grid with a lap time of 1m32.774s. Menchaca lined up 16th on the starting grid with a best lap of 1m33.135s.

Saturday’s race start was quite unlucky for Campos Racing and their drivers. Laaksonen was forced to start from the pit lane and, when the lights went out, Pulcini dropped to fourth. On lap 4, Pulcini was battling with Dorian Boccolacci still running in the top-five. Behind, Menchaca had already moved up to ninth. Pulcini improved several times his personal fastest lap to catch Boccolacci. Pulcini breezed past Boccolacci for fourth with three laps to go. After 22 laps, Pulcini brought fourth place home. Menchaca also made it into the top ten and Laaksonen finished 15th.

Sunday saw another incident-marred race and the safety car was deployed several times. Pulcini – who started on wets just like his teammates-got past a rival to move up to fourth place. Unfortunately, a clash with David Beckmann forced him to make an unscheduled pit-stop. Menchaca was another driver pitting to clear some debris. After 16 laps, Laaksonen took 8th place to score a valuable first point with Pulcini right behind in ninth place. Menchaca ended up 12th.

Round 2 will take place at Paul Ricard on 25-26 June.