Alessio Lorandi holds off Lance Stroll for Pau Grand Prix F3 win

Alessio Lorandi withstood race-long pressure from Lance Stroll to win the Pau Grand Prix round of the Formula 3 European Championship

Alessio Lorandi holds off Lance Stroll for Pau Grand Prix F3 win

The 17-year-old Italian, for whom this was the first win in car racing, converted his pole position into the lead at the start, and after that the Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen spent the entire race with Stroll's Prema Powerteam Dallara-Mercedes filling its mirrors.

Stroll, who took the championship lead with his second place, often brought the gap to below half a second, but never quite got close enough to try a move.

The Canadian Williams Formula 1 team protege made a concerted effort again near the end of the race when George Russell, who'd held third from the first corner, made rapid inroads on the leading duo, the Hitech Grand Prix driver setting fastest lap as he made it a leading trio.

But Russell clipped a barrier and dropped back with a suspected slow puncture over the last two laps, and only just held on to third from Van Amersfoort Racing's Callum Ilott.

"This is very special," said Lorandi.

"I got a lot of wheelspin at the start and I was lucky I could still close the door on Lance.

"After that he was putting pressure and pressure - I didn't want to risk too much and in the end I was struggling a little bit with the rear tyres.

"We did a good job with Carlin, and qualifying was very important to put me in a good position."

Ten minutes were lost to a lengthy safety car after Nick Cassidy tried to squeeze up the inside of fellow second-row man Sergio Sette Camara at the opening kink.

But the Brazilian didn't quite leave enough room, and Cassidy and Sette Camara careered into the barriers. Stewards gave Sette Camara a five-place grid penalty for race one of the next round at the Red Bull Ring as a result.

Meanwhile, mid-grid man David Beckmann had clipped another car in the kink and slithered helplessly into the wreckage, causing chaos as several others got involved.

Mikkel Jensen (Mucke Motorsport) held fifth for the most of the race, but once Motopark man Joel Eriksson had passed Ryan Tveter around the outside into Gare he put Jensen under pressure throughout, the two Scandinavians completing the top six.

Carlin driver Tveter held off Motopark-run Red Bull junior Niko Kari and T-Sport's Arjun Maini in the train for seventh.

Ben Barnicoat pitted under the early safety car and spent much of the race trying to prise the final point from Harrison Newey, but a mix-up between the two Brits and pre-race points leader Maximilian Gunther - who started from the back of the grid - allowed Pedro Piquet (VAR) to claim 10th after he also had pitted while the race was under caution.

RESULTS - 25 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Alessio Lorandi Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 35m09.190s
2 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 0.460s
3 George Russell Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 2.385s
4 Callum Ilott Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 2.806s
5 Mikkel Jensen kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes 6.393s
6 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 6.920s
7 Ryan Tveter Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 12.097s
8 Niko Kari Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 12.599s
9 Arjun Maini ThreeBond with T-Sport Dallara/NBE 13.179s
10 Pedro Piquet Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 22.901s
11 Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 25.011s
12 Anthoine Hubert Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 29.981s
13 Maximilian Guenther Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 35.100s
14 Harrison Newey Van Amersfoort Racing Dallara/Mercedes 39.856s
15 Ralf Aron Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 44.042s
- Guanyu Zhou Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement
- Nikita Mazepin Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- David Beckmann kfzteile Mucke Motorsport Dallara/Mercedes Retirement
- Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement
- Zhi Cong Li Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Lance Stroll 98
2 Maximilian Guenther 85
3 George Russell 79
4 Ben Barnicoat 75
5 Nick Cassidy 74
6 Callum Ilott 73
7 Joel Eriksson 68
8 Ralf Aron 63
9 Sergio Sette Camara 58
10 Mikkel Jensen 53
11 Alessio Lorandi 52
12 Guanyu Zhou 50
13 Niko Kari 30
14 Anthoine Hubert 18
15 Ryan Tveter 18
16 Pedro Piquet 7
17 Harrison Newey 3
18 Arjun Maini 3
19 Nikita Mazepin 1
20 Raoul Hyman 1

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