European F3 Pau: Ben Barnicoat wins race one in the rain

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

European F3 Pau: Ben Barnicoat wins race one in the rain

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

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Ben Barnicoat Hitech GP Dallara/Mercedes 24 35m03.110s
2 Nick Cassidy Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 24 2.489s
3 Maximilian Guenther 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
7 Ryan Tveter Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 24 17.997s
8 Sergio Sette Camara Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 24 22.166s
9 Lance Stroll Prema Powerteam Dallara/Mercedes 24 22.956s
10 Alessio Lorandi Carlin Dallara/Volkswagen 24 26.906s
11 Guanyu 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
14 Joel Eriksson Motopark Dallara/Volkswagen 24 33.052s
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


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