Bahrain GP3: Luca Ghiotto beats Esteban Ocon to reclaim points lead

Luca Ghiotto took his fifth GP3 win of the year in Bahrain to reclaim the championship lead and set up final-round decider with Esteban Ocon, who finished second

Bahrain GP3: Luca Ghiotto beats Esteban Ocon to reclaim points lead

Trident driver Ghiotto was quick off the line and found himself up into second at Turn 1 from fifth on the grid.

Nissan protege Jann Mardenborough had been in the mix for second at the start but slight contact with Jimmy Eriksson at Turn 1 ended any hopes of a podium finish.

On the following lap Ghiotto was into the lead after demoting Alfonso Celis Jr at Turn 1, and set about building a gap.

His progress was halted soon after, though, when contact between Sandy Stuvik and Matheo Tuscher brought out the safety car and then the red flag.

Stuvik went straight into the back of Tuscher at speed on the entry to Turn 14 and continued towards the barrier, resulting in a heavy impact.

The Status Grand Prix driver was unhurt following the incident but the red flag was brought out as marshals struggled to remove his stricken car from the barrier.

When racing eventually resumed, Ghiotto picked up where he left off and continued to build a lead over Celis Jr.

Mercedes junior Ocon wasn't hanging around either. The Frenchman breezed past ART Grand Prix team-mate Marvin Kirchhofer at Turn 1 before repeating the move on Celis Jr on the following lap.

Ocon brought the gap to Ghiotto down to 1.4 seconds but he couldn't get any closer as Ghiotto then stormed off into the distance.

He eventually crossed the line 2.3s clear of his title rival, who finished second for the 10th time this season.

Ghiotto's win means he takes a two-point lead into the final round of the year in Abu Dhabi next weekend.

Matt Parry took his third podium of the season after a sublime drive from 11th on the grid.

The 2013 McLaren AUTOSPORT BRDC award winner was in a fighting mood, as he carved his way through the field, seemingly with ease.

He dispatched Kirchhofer at Turn 1 halfway through the race before taking Emil Bernstorff on the inside of Turn 4.

He then proceeded to hunt down Celis Jr for third, which he did late on, forcing the ART driver wide with some slight contact at Turn 5.

Arden International's Bernstorff was able to resist a late charge by Ferrari protege Antonio Fuoco for fourth.

Race one winner Kirchhofer finished sixth ahead of Koiranen GP's Jimmy Eriksson, who also edged past Celis Jr late on.

RESULTS - 15 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Luca Ghiotto Trident 42m51.074s
2 Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 2.370s
3 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 9.193s
4 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 13.550s
5 Antonio Fuoco Carlin 14.242s
6 Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 14.361s
7 Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 16.248s
8 Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 17.677s
9 Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 18.267s
10 Alex Palou Campos Racing 19.364s
11 Mitch Gilbert Carlin 22.606s
12 Artur Janosz Trident 27.560s
13 Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 27.602s
14 Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP 29.797s
15 Michele Beretta Trident 31.373s
16 Alex Bosak Arden International 31.687s
17 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing 44.310s
18 Kevin Ceccon Arden International 47.601s
19 Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 55.934s
- Seb Morris Status Grand Prix Retirement
- Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport Retirement
- Jann Mardenborough Carlin Retirement
- Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix Retirement
- Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport Retirement

DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP:

Pos Driver Points
1 Luca Ghiotto 227
2 Esteban Ocon 225
3 Marvin Kirchhofer 173
4 Emil Bernstorff 172
5 Jimmy Eriksson 97
6 Kevin Ceccon 77
7 Antonio Fuoco 70
8 Matt Parry 59
9 Jann Mardenborough 58
10 Alex Palou 30
11 Ralph Boschung 28
12 Alfonso Celis 24
13 Matheo Tuscher 22
14 Artur Janosz 19
15 Oscar Tunjo 17
16 Alex Fontana 16
17 Sandy Stuvik 7
18 Seb Morris 6
19 Pal Varhaug 4
20 Alex Bosak 4
21 Mitch Gilbert 1
22 Adderly Fong 0
23 Zaid Ashkanani 0
24 Brandon Maisano 0
25 Amaury Bonduel 0
26 Michele Beretta 0
27 Matevos Isaakyan 0
28 Beitske Visser 0
29 Konstantin Tereschenko 0
30 Samin Gomez 0
31 Christopher Hoher 0


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