Sochi GP3: Ghiotto beats title rival Ocon in delayed first race

Championship leader Luca Ghiotto stormed from sixth on the grid to take his fourth GP3 win of the season at Sochi, ahead of rival Esteban Ocon

Sochi GP3: Ghiotto beats title rival Ocon in delayed first race

Mercedes junior Ocon led the field away cleanly from pole position, as second-place man Matheo Tuscher and Kevin Ceccon both stalled on the grid.

Ghiotto made a good start and avoided the slow moving Tuscher, before challenging Emil Bernstorff for third into Turn 2.

The Trident driver completed the move up the inside with ease and instantly set about catching the leader, and his championship rival, Ocon.

It didn't take him long. The Italian was all over the back of Ocon before he made a bold lunge for the lead up the inside of Turn 13 on the opening lap.

He made the brave move stick and quickly set about extending his lead, but that was brought to a swift halt when the safety car was deployed, following a collision between Arden International team-mates Ceccon and Alex Bosak.

After the restart Ghiotto maintained his lead and never looked threatened by Ocon as the gap remained stagnant.

Ghiotto's win is a serious blow to the championship hopes of Ocon, who now hasn't won since the opening race of the season at Barcelona.

Arden driver Bernstorff held on for his fifth podium of the season.

He was under intense pressure from Campos Racing's Alex Palou for much of the race but was able to weather the storm and cross the line comfortably ahead.

Nissan protege Jann Mardenborough finished fifth but had his work cut out with his Ferrari junior team-mate Antonio Fuoco.

Mardenborough was behind his Carlin team-mate before the safety car period, but passed him on the inside of Turn 5 on the restart.

Koiranen GP team-mates Matt Parry and Jimmy Eriksson were once again battling hard over seventh place.

It was 2013 McLaren Autosport BRDC award winner, Parry who ended up on top of the intra-team battle, with Eriksson taking reverse gird pole.

ART Grand Prix driver Marvin Kirchhofer fought back from 16th on the grid to finish ninth, ahead of Trident's Artur Janosz who rounded out the top 10.

In a revised schedule following Saturday's delay, the sprint race will also take place on Sunday morning.

RESULTS - 15 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Gap
1 Luca Ghiotto Trident 30m38.718s
2 Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 1.596s
3 Emil Bernstorff Arden International 8.314s
4 Alex Palou Campos Racing 11.019s
5 Jann Mardenborough Carlin 12.408s
6 Antonio Fuoco Carlin 15.754s
7 Matt Parry Koiranen GP 17.597s
8 Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 17.868s
9 Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 19.219s
10 Artur Janosz Trident 25.889s
11 Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 26.496s
12 Mitch Gilbert Carlin 27.742s
13 Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 28.124s
14 Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 29.423s
15 Adderly Fong Koiranen GP 30.861s
16 Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 34.560s
17 Konstantin Tereschenko Campos Racing 38.739s
18 Michele Beretta Trident 40.848s
19 Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 44.050s
20 Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 2m20.018s
- Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport Retirement
- Kevin Ceccon Arden International Retirement
- Alex Bosak Arden International Retirement
- Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport Retirement


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Sochi GP3: Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon takes maiden pole
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