Hulkenberg champion as Bianchi wins

Jules Bianchi took a dominant victory in the first F3 Euro Series race of the weekend at Le Mans, as Nico Hulkenberg became the F3 Euroseries champion despite finishing a lap down in 24th

Hulkenberg champion as Bianchi wins

The German, a test driver for the Williams Formula One team, claimed the title by dint of the fact that his championship rival Edoardo Mortara failed to score.

Bianchi was never challenged throughout the race, as he romped away to a victory margin of nearly 18 seconds over Sam Bird.

The British driver, who started fourth, made up one place when Hulkenberg stalled at the start and lost a lap, and he inherited second when surprise front-row starter Stefano Coletti spun on lap three.

Bird then cemented his position by gradually easing away from Mika Maki, who was falling into the clutches of Koudai Tsukakoshi in the closing stages.

Their battle had been a three-way scrap during the middle of the race, until fifth place man Chrtistian Vietoris broke down six laps from home.

That handed a top five finish to Jean Karl Vernay, who sustained pressure for a long period of time from an on-form Dani Clos.

The Spanish driver had started ahead of Vernay in eighth position on the grid, but a slow start cost him ground. However, he made short work of Robert Wickens and Franck Mailleux, and then pushed Vernay all the way to the flag.

Behind them, Mailleux slipped into the clutches of Wickens and Brendon Hartley in the second half of the race, but despite several attempts, nobody could pass the Signature driver.

Their battle was occasionally joined by Mortara, who made his way up to 10th after starting 17th.

 Pos Driver Team Car Time 1. Jules Bianchi ART D/M 41:22.149 2. Sam Bird Manor D/M +17.964 3. Mika Maki Mucke D/M +20.392 4. Koudai Tsukakoshi Manor D/M +20.976 5. Jean-Karl Vernay Signature D/V +28.681 6. Dani Clos Prema D/M +29.554 7. Franck Mailleux Signature D/V +42.219 8. Robert Wickens Signature D/V +42.737 9. Brendon Hartley Carlin D/M +43.131 10. Edoardo Mortara Signature D/V +44.687 11. Daniel Campos-Hull HBR D/M +48.704 12. Richard Philippe SG D/M +49.417 13. Jon Lancaster ART D/M +49.836 14. James Jakes ART D/M +51.840 15. Erik Janis Mucke D/M +52.753 16. Nelson Panciatici RC D/V +59.118 17. Cong Fu Cheng RC D/V +1:00.537 18. Rodolfo Gonzalez Carlin D/M +1:01.088 19. Renger van der Zande Prema D/M +1:06.078 20. Stefano Coletti Prema D/M +1:06.388 21. Henkie Waldschmidt SG D/M +1:06.760 22. Kazuya Oshima Manor D/M +1:07.830 23. Yann Clairay SG D/M +1:08.317 24. Nico Hulkenberg ART D/M + 1 lap 25. Stephane Richelmi Barazi Epsilon D/M + 1 lap 26. Basil Shaaban HBR D/M + 1 lap 27. Jens Klingmann RC D/V + 1 lap Not classified Driver Team Car Laps Christian Vietoris Mucke D/M 20
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