GP3 Spa: Points leader Charles Leclerc secures lights-to-flag win

Charles Leclerc extended his GP3 lead with a lights-to-flag Spa victory, as Jake Dennis surged from 13th to second but title contender Alexander Albon could only reach ninth

GP3 Spa: Points leader Charles Leclerc secures lights-to-flag win

A messy tangle on the exit of La Source on the opening lap shaped the race, as slow-starting front row man Jake Hughes came together with Arjun Maini and Matt Parry as they tried to go around him.

The rest of the pack split in avoidance, with Arden driver Dennis one of those who gained most as he chose the correct side of the chaos and instantly went from 13th to fourth behind the ART cars of Leclerc and Nyck de Vries and Trident's Antonio Fuoco.

Following a lengthy safety car period to clear the damaged machines from the hill down to Eau Rouge, Leclerc controlled the race throughout, easing away from de Vries after some early pressure.

The ART drivers had been concerned about high tyre wear in the hot temperatures and de Vries' pace faded in the closing stages.

But Dennis still had performance to spare in the final laps and was able to rapidly overtake Fuoco then de Vries before cutting Leclerc's lead from five seconds to 2.3s at the flag.

De Vries retained third from Fuoco, who came under late pressure from Dennis's flying Arden team-mate Jack Aitken.

Aitken had not fared so well as the first-corner tangle unfolded and had to hack through a busy midfield to reach the top five.

Steijn Schothorst and Santino Ferrucci were in the thick of those battles as they came home sixth and seventh.

Albon struggled to get off the line and came out the other side of the first-lap crash in 15th. He followed Aitken through the pack but could not make up as much ground late on and had to settle for a few points in ninth behind Matevos Isaakyan.

That result drops Albon to third in the championship behind Fuoco and 32 points adrift of Leclerc.

Giuliano Alesi jumped from 19th to eighth on the opening lap and then held on to score his first GP3 point in 10th.

RESULTS - 17 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Charles Leclerc ART Grand Prix 40m06.695s
2 Jake Dennis Arden International 2.305s
3 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix 15.402s
4 Antonio Fuoco Trident 19.427s
5 Jack Aitken Arden International 19.837s
6 Steijn Schothorst Campos Racing 21.419s
7 Santino Ferrucci DAMS 24.337s
8 Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP 28.856s
9 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 30.076s
10 Giuliano Alesi Trident 31.045s
11 Kevin Jorg DAMS 39.185s
12 Artur Janosz Trident 42.364s
13 Alex Palou Campos Racing 48.122s
14 Tatiana Calderon Arden International 51.121s
15 Oscar Tunjo Jenzer Motorsport 1m09.185s
16 Akash Nandy Jenzer Motorsport 1m15.690s
17 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing 1m22.750s
- Sandy Stuvik Trident Retirement
- Niko Kari Koiranen GP Retirement
- Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix Retirement
- Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport Retirement
- Jake Hughes DAMS Retirement
- Matt Parry Koiranen GP Retirement

RACE TWO STARTING GRID

Pos Driver Team
1 Matevos Isaakyan Koiranen GP
2 Santino Ferrucci DAMS
3 Steijn Schothorst Campos Racing
4 Jack Aitken Arden International
5 Antonio Fuoco Trident
6 Nyck de Vries ART Grand Prix
7 Jake Dennis Arden International
8 Charles Leclerc ART Grand Prix
9 Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix
10 Giuliano Alesi Trident
11 Kevin Jorg DAMS
12 Artur Janosz Trident
13 Alex Palou Campos Racing
14 Tatiana Calderon Arden International
15 Oscar Tunjo Jenzer Motorsport
16 Akash Nandy Jenzer Motorsport
17 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing
18 Sandy Stuvik Trident
19 Niko Kari Koiranen GP
20 Nirei Fukuzumi ART Grand Prix
21 Jake Hughes DAMS
22 Matt Parry Koiranen GP
23 Arjun Maini Jenzer Motorsport


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