Jimmy Eriksson took a lights-to-flag victory in the second GP3 race at Sochi as Esteban Ocon narrowed Luca Ghiotto’s championship lead to two points with his ninth consecutive second-place finish.
Lining up first on the grid, Eriksson led the field into Turn 1 with Koiranen teammate Matt Parry suffering a slow start while Antonio Fuoco challenged the Swede for the lead at the chicane.
They both ran wide and while Eriksson narrowly managed to rejoin ahead, Fuoco dropped behind Jann Mardenborough just ahead of Esteban Ocon and Emil Bernstorff.
While Ocon gained three spots at the start, Luca Ghiotto was running seventh with a bit of front wing damage and, following an overtake on Artur Janosz, a move on Bernstorff forced him off the track and he joined back in ninth.
On lap 8, after several laps of pressure, Ocon got past Fuoco on the main straight despite being edged centimetres away from the wall, for which the Italian received a black and white warning flag.
Bernstorff had a run on Fuoco two laps later as well, but the Anglo-Dane ran wide at Turn 2 to drop back behind not only Fuoco but Trident’s Janosz, too.
Once running third, Ocon quickly closed the gap on Mardenborough and soon made an impressive overtake to claim second.
There was no catching Eriksson though, who cruised to the finish with a lead of four seconds to claim his first GP3 victory since the 2014 Monza feature race.
He was followed by Ocon, Mardenborough, who celebrated a podium finish for the first time since the season opener at Barcelona, and Ferrari junior Fuoco.
Janosz secured a season-best fifth place ahead of Bernstorff, who managed to keep Kirchhofer at bay despite a second off at Turn 2 while the final point-scoring position went to Ghiotto.
The Italian made a last-lap overtake on Alex Palou as the top ten was completed by Seb Morris.