Ben Barnicoat put in a masterful performance in Pau to take his second successive win - both in wet weather - in the Formula 3 European Championship.
The Hitech Grand Prix Dallara-Mercedes driver was elevated to the front row when officials took everyone by surprise by converting the grid penalties applied for this race to half of the driver's position in his qualifying group.
Therefore George Russell was penalised 1.5 places in his group, rather than three overall, and this had the effect of putting Barnicoat up to second and Nick Cassidy - who went to bed last night thinking he was on the front row - down to third.
When poleman Lance Stroll stalled at the start, Barnicoat splashed to a six-second lead over the opening laps as fast starter Maximilian Gunther fended off the sister Prema Powerteam machine of Cassidy for second.
The safety car appeared on the ninth lap due to Li Zhi Cong clanging into the barriers at Parc Beaumont, and Cassidy used the restart to sweep past Gunther around the outside in the kink by the pits.
"I was off line, I could see the shine on the track, so I picked up my balls and threw them out of the cockpit!" said the New Zealander.
Cassidy, in his first race at Pau, then brought the gap down to Racing Steps Foundation protege Barnicoat, who is an F3 rookie but raced twice in the French streets in Formula Renault.
The closest the interval got was 1.1 seconds, but Barnicoat held firm and crossed the line 2.5s clear.
"Nick was definitely putting more pressure on me," said Barnicoat.
"It was a little bit more difficult, but on a track like this it was all about not making any errors and keeping it on the circuit."
Barnicoat's team-mate Russell threatened Gunther, but fell away again to take fourth from the Van Amersfoort Racing car of Callum Ilott.
Mikkel Jensen, as he has for much of this season, did a sound defensive job in his Mucke Motorsport car, this time fending off Carlin-run Ryan Tveter for sixth.
Meanwhile, Stroll got away in ninth but could not make any of his moves stick on Motopark's Red Bull junior Sergio Sette Camara, who claimed eighth.
The final point was claimed by the lonely Carlin car of Pau GP polesitter Alessio Lorandi.
RACE ONE RESULT
|1||Ben Barnicoat||Hitech GP||Dallara/Mercedes||24||35m03.110s|
|2||Nick Cassidy||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||24||2.489s|
|3||Maximilian Gunther||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||24||5.318s|
|4||George Russell||Hitech GP||Dallara/Mercedes||24||7.034s|
|5||Callum Ilott||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Mercedes||24||8.156s|
|6||Mikkel Jensen||kfzteile Mucke Motorsport||Dallara/Mercedes||24||16.707s|
|8||Sergio Sette Camara||Motopark||Dallara/Volkswagen||24||22.166s|
|9||Lance Stroll||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||24||22.956s|
|11||Guan Yu Zhou||Motopark||Dallara/Volkswagen||24||30.070s|
|12||Anthoine Hubert||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Mercedes||24||30.803s|
|13||Ralf Aron||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||24||31.856s|
|15||Harrison Newey||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Mercedes||24||35.617s|
|16||Nikita Mazepin||Hitech GP||Dallara/Mercedes||24||36.351s|
|17||David Beckmann||kfzteile Mucke Motorsport||Dallara/Mercedes||24||39.666s|
|18||Arjun Maini||ThreeBond with T-Sport||Dallara/NBE||24||1m01.388s|
|19||Niko Kari||Motopark||Dallara/Volkswagen||23||1 Lap|
|20||Pedro Piquet||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Mercedes||23||1 Lap|
|-||Zhi Cong Li||Carlin||Dallara/Volkswagen||7||Retirement|