Spa GP3: Ghiotto stretches points lead with win

GP3 points leader Luca Ghiotto took a third victory of the season at Spa to extend his championship advantage over second-place man Ocon.

Spa GP3: Ghiotto stretches points lead with win
Polesitter Luca Ghiotto, Trident
Kevin Ceccon, Arden International & Luca Ghiotto, Trident leads Antonio Fuoco, Carlin
Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix leads Emil Bernstorff, Arden International and Luca Ghiotto, Trident
Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix
Alex Palou, Campos Racing
Alex Fontana, Status Grand Prix
Matheo Tuscher, Jenzer Motorsport
Start: Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix leads Luca Ghiotto, Trident & Emil Bernstorff, Arden International

The race started in chaotic fashion as reverse grid polesitter Aleksander Bosak made a dismal getaway, allowing fellow front row starter Alex Palou into the lead at La Source ahead of ART trio Alfonso Celis Jr, Ocon and Marvin Kirchhofer.

But worse was to come for Bosak, who suffered a front-right puncture exiting Blanchimont on the second lap and speared into the barriers as a result, the rear of his Arden machine completely destroyed in the impact.

One of the Pole's detached wheels then made its way back on to the circuit, hitting Matt Parry's car and causing the Brit to have his own crash.

The carnage necessitated the Safety Car, by which time Ocon had passed Celis for second and Ghiotto had moved ahead of Kirchhofer for fourth. When the race got back under way, Ghiotto got the better of Celis exiting La Source to take third.

A second caution period was caused when Antonio Fuoco tried to go round the outside of Kirchhofer for fifth at Les Combes, the two colliding and retiring as a result - though not before Fuoco's car drifted back into the path of the pack, where it was lucky to only be clipped lightly by Artur Janosz.

After the subsequent restart, Ghiotto made short work of Ocon, slipping past his chief title rival along the Kemmel Straight, before repeating the move on Palou on the very next lap to take the lead.

Ocon followed Ghiotto through to move into second, but despite making up ground in the closing stages was unable to get close enough to threaten the Italian.

Celis was able to pass Palou, suffering with a higher downforce setup, to take his maiden GP3 podium finish, with Matheo Tuscher - up from 20th on the grid - doing likewise to take a creditable fourth.

Palou had to be content with fifth, ahead of Alex Fontana, Janosz and Ralph Boschung.

Emil Bernstorff, who inherited his first win of the season after Ocon's post-race penalty on Saturday, was an early casualty as he was hit from behind at the first corner, causing him to make contact with Janosz's car, deranging his front-left suspension.

Race results:

Pos. Driver Car Time/Gap
Luca Ghiotto Trident 33'36.220
Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 0.878
Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 5.144
Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 6.891
Alex Palou Campos Racing 7.993
Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 8.348
Artur Janosz Trident 9.119
Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 11.014
Adderly Fong Koiranen GP 11.611
10  Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 12.230
11  Mitch Gilbert Carlin 14.113
12  Jann Mardenborough Carlin 14.357
13  Kevin Ceccon Arden International 14.506
14  Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 14.900
15  Beitske Visser Trident 15.131
16  Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 16.008
17  Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 18.795
18  Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 32.579
Ret Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix  
Ret Antonio Fuoco Carlin  
Ret Alex Bosak Arden International  
Ret Matt Parry Koiranen GP  
Ret Emil Bernstorff Arden International  

 

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