On the grid for Round One of the International Junior Grand Prix Championship at Albert Park, pole sitter Yrjana Vahasoyrinki was looking good for a result to kick start the season, though there were fast starters close behind looking to capitalise on any mistakes he may make.
A reminder of the grid for the first race of the new championship season:
The race is 37 laps long, covering the race distance of 200 miles.
In the first stint of the race, low starter Felipe Cesar was the fastest of the runners, setting the fastest lap on lap 17, with the race leader Vahasoyrinki seeming to take the opening part of the race
in a controlled manner, coming under pressure from the cars behind. On lap 6, Mikko Heininen got past Juan Alejandro, before Jamie Gerrard unleashed a move into Ascari on Alejandro and Yohan Dubois. Other gainers include Henk Dekzwabber and Christian Fischoff, while Germund Svensson and Luis Pesdesbills lost significantly. The only incident was involving Christos Lostovolos, who spun on the exit of turn 2, narrowly avoiding the barrier but losing two positions and a lot of time.
Race standings after lap 19 of 37:
The second half of the race was as eventful as the first, with Vahasoyrinki dominating the race as before. Mikko Heininen remained in second, while behind them, Juan Alejandro capitalised on a mistake from Jamie Gerrard to regain 3rd position on Lap 26 at Clark. Gerrard was clearly aggravated by losing a place from such a mistake, as he was hassling Alejandro all the way around the following lap. However, as they reached turn four, he lunged down the inside of Alejandro, locking up his front brakes and continuing straight on. Some avoiding action from Alejandro meant he remained third, but Gerrard was overtaken by Frances Bouvert, who had already got past fellow Frenchman Yohan Dubois with a stunning move in the fast turn 11-12 chicane. Further back, Henk Dekzwabber seemed to lose pace, moving three positions down the order in 7 laps, while pre-season favourite Pedro Costa continued to struggle down the order. The finish saw Yrjana Vahasoyrinki win in a fashion that echoes Nathaniel Power’s drives in the VGPC, meaning he has to be an early favourite for this season.
Race standings after lap 37 of 37:
Championship standings after round one of the International Grand Prix Championship in Australia: