Adam Carroll took his fourth Avon Tyres British Formula Three race win of the year at Spa-Francorchamps, moving back up to second place in the championship standings as fellow title contender James Rossiter failed to score.
Nelson Piquet Jr stalled on pole position as the lights went green, dropping him into the middle of the field. He was to suffer more problems further round the lap when he was pitched into a spin while battling with Rossiter.
The safety car was scrambled at the end of the opening lap after Fairuz Fauzy had hit newly crowned Scholarship Class champion Ryan Lewis. As Stephen Jelley went for the gap through the debris he was hit, hard, by Adam Smith, putting the pair of them out of the race.
French driver Nicolas Lapierre had taken the lead and headed Clivio Piccione as the grid dived through Eau Rouge. Piccione got a good run at Lapierre on the Kemmel Straight and was alongside as they turned into the corner. Contact was made and Lapierre was pitched off into the barriers. Carroll, who had moved into third place at the start, watched it all unfold in front of him.
As the race re-started Carroll immediately made a move on Piccione, getting a great run out of Eau Rouge and passing him for the lead. An unchallenged run to the chequered flag gave him his fourth win of the year and allowed him to leap-frog Rossiter and claw back 13 points on Piquet, with just three races remaining.
"I had no problems at all once I got past Piccione," said Carroll. "It's good to get the points back on Piquet and move into second in the championship," he added.
As he cruised to the flag Piquet was on a mission to work his way up the order to gain valuable championship points over Rossiter and Carroll. After narrowly avoiding the Fauzy/Lewis clash he drove a superb race to work his way up to sixth place, taking Lucas Di Grassi on the final lap.
Danny Watts tried in vain to take third place away from Danilo Dirani at the re-start. The Lola-Dome driver just couldn't find a way past as Dirani drove a defensive opening handful of laps. The Brazilian managed to pull out a full second on a frustrated Watts who had the quicker car through the corners.
Marko Asmer held onto fifth place as, just behind Watts and Dirani, as Piquet ran out of laps to make a move for an extra place at the chequered flag.
Ryan Lewis came out a surprised winner in the Scholarship Class. He was forced to drive a full lap of the circuit with a damaged rear wheel, but was able to get onto the back of the field as the safety car circulated. A great drive allowed him to pass Vasilije Calasan and Ronayne O'Mahony to claim his 14th race win of the season.
"I was struggling in the later laps as I think something was definitely broken on the car after the contact," said Lewis. "I really didn't think I was going to be standing on the top step of the podium though," he added.