Spa 1: Van der Merwe wins short race

Carlin Motorsport's Alan van der Merwe converted pole into his eighth British F3 win of the season at Spa-Francorchamps when the race was curtailed shortly after half-distance

Spa 1: Van der Merwe wins short race

Despite heading the field into Eau Rouge at the green lights van der Merwe lost the lead to fellow front-row starter Nelson Angelo Piquet on the long drag to Les Combes.

With Piquet struggling for grip in variable track conditions, van der Merwe needed just one lap to reclaim the lead. After emerging from Eau Rouge almost attached to his rival's rear wing, van der Merwe made his move around the outside of Les Combes while Piquet held a defensive line.

This left van der Merwe's Carlin Motorsport team-mate and title rival on Piquet's tail, and on the fourth lap it was Green's turn to ace Piquet through Les Combes.

Van der Merwe and Green circulated as one for the next three laps, with the Briton looking eager to challenge for the lead but biding his time. However, with Tor Graves' badly-parked Dallara necessitating yellow flags at the Bus-Stop chicane, one of Spa's main overtaking opportunities, from lap three onwards, Green was forced to stay patient.

After six laps, the safety car was dispatched to clear up Graves' car just as it began to rain. After one lap at touring speeds the red flags flew because Rizal Ramli had crashed at Les Combes and needed medical help, handing victory to van der Merwe.

Nelson Piquet was fortunate to be awarded third place on countback after the red flag, as eventual fourth place man Will Power passed him on the inside of Les Combes on the sixth lap.

F3 EuroSeries leader Ryan Briscoe (PREMA Powerteam) lost out to Carlin's Ronnie Bremer in the battle for fifth place. Alvaro Parente, making his British F3 debut for Carlin, might have beaten both had it not been for the red flag, having made good progress in the early stages.

Alan Docking Racing's Adam Carroll chased home Hi-Tech's Eric Salignon and Promatecme's Richard Antinucci to take tenth place on his debut for the reigning champion team.

Race 2 is at 10h40 (BST) tomorrow (Sunday), with Robert Doornbos starting on pole.




Alan van der Merwe (Carlin Motorsport)
Jamie Green (Carlin Motorsport)
Nelson Angelo Piquet (Piquet Sports)
Will Power (Fortec Motorsport)
Ronnie Bremer (Carlin Motorsport)
Ryan Briscoe (PREMA Powerteam)
Alvaro Parente (Carlin Motorsport)
Eric Salignon (Hi-Tech Racing)
Richard Antinucci (Promatecme)
Adam Carroll (Alan Docking Racing)

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