Spa GP3: Aitken survives three restarts for maiden victory

Jack Aitken took a first-ever GP3 Series victory in Sunday's second race of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, controlling three safety car restarts amid chaos further down the order.

Spa GP3: Aitken survives three restarts for maiden victory

The Arden driver started fourth on the grid following his charge from P14 to fifth on Saturday, gaining one spot at the start as poleman Matevos Isaakyan took an early lead from Santino Ferrucci.

Aitken soon cleared the Haas development driver on the approach to Les Combes to take second, before seizing the advantage from Isaakyan.

A spin for Konstantin Tereshchenko brought out the safety car for the first time on Lap 4, and contact between Matt Parry and Jake Hughes at Les Combes at the restart brought about another caution period shortly after.

Aitken maintained his advantage on both restarts, but Isaakyan fell victim to both Ferrucci and title contender Antonio Fuoco the second time round at Les Combes, dropping to fourth.

A third and final safety car period - caused by Nirei Fukuzumi punting Kevin Jorg off into the barriers at Les Combes - gave Fuoco the opportunity he needed to dispatch Ferrucci for second, but there was nothing he could do about Aitken up front.

The Anglo-Korean driver took the chequered flag by 1.769s seconds ahead of Fuoco, with Ferrucci sealing his first GP3 podium finish in third.

Behind, Isaakyan came under heavy attack from points leader and race one winner Charles Leclerc in the closing stages in the battle for fourth.

But the Monegasque driver misjudged his braking at the Bus Stop chicane on the final lap, running wide and allowing Aitken's Arden teammate Jake Dennis through into fifth.

Steijn Schothorst dropped from third on the grid to finish seventh, while the final point went to Nyck de Vries in eighth.

Alex Albon finished outside of the points in 10th place, surviving a substantial hit from Arjun Maini at the Bus Stop chicane that nearly sent the ART Grand Prix driver into a roll.

The only remaining retirement was that of the third Arden car, Tatiana Calderon, who hit the barriers at La Source at the start of the second lap.

UPDATE: Hughes has been given a three-place grid penalty for the next round at Monza for causing a collision with Parry, while Maini was handed a 10 second time penalty for his contact with Albon - dropping the Indian from 12th to 16th.

GP3 2016 Spa-Francorchamps

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