Spa European F3: Jake Dennis wins race marred by huge crashes
Jake Dennis won the second race of the Spa Formula 3 European Championship weekend, which was marred by a return of the chaos that afflicted the last round at Monza
The Briton was running fourth when a ridiculous move from Lance Stroll took Stroll, Felix Rosenqvist and Mikkel Jensen out of the race as they ran three abreast towards Les Combes.
Ferrari protege Stroll had attempted to take the lead from poleman Jensen into Les Combes on the first lap, but the duo ran side by side through the right-handed element before Jensen ran off track at the left-hander to stay in front.
Canadian Stroll then made a move stick into Les Combes on the third lap, while simultaneously Rosenqvist passed Dennis for third.
Towards the end of the fourth lap the race went under the safety car after Kang Ling had harpooned Julio Moreno at the Bus Stop, flying up onto two wheels as Tatiana Calderon was left with nowhere to go and hit Moreno.
At the restart, Jensen got a run on Stroll up the Kemmel straight, while Rosenqvist drafted both to swing to the left.
Stroll then chopped brusquely across on Jensen, who was roughly half a car length back, and Jensen in turn was pushed into Rosenqvist, who was launched with broken suspension into a scary accident along the barriers.
Dennis inherited the lead, and after the second safety car was beginning to struggle on four old tyres as Santino Ferrucci - using four new Hankooks - pursued him, but the Prema Powerteam man's win was secured by the final caution.
Brandon Maisano, running fourth, moved across to defend from Gustavo Menezes on the Kemmel straight. Menezes clipped the rear of Maisano and was launched into a frightening backwards flip, skating inverted to Les Combes.
Marshals lifted the car onto two wheels, and then haplessly let it crash to the ground before Menezes - thankfully unharmed - was able to clamber out. With the rollhoop broken, the car took a long while to remove and the race ran to its end under caution.
"I made a risky manoeuvre on Felix and Brandon on the first lap [to go from fifth to third], but being team-mates we gave each other respect,' said Dennis.
"It was a pretty solid race to be fair - I just managed to get it home on the old tyres; I was happy to see the safety car!'
Motopark rookie Sergio Sette Camara, hitherto without points, took a surprise third place behind the Mucke Motorsport car of Ferrucci, who like the Brazilian is a fresh face to the podium.
Maisano survived to finish fourth ahead of fellow Frenchman and maiden points scorer Dorian Boccolacci, with series leader Charles Leclerc sixth from Maximilian Gunther, Raoul Hyman (from 24th on the grid), Antonio Giovinazzi and Alessio Lorandi.
RESULTS - 12 LAPS:
|1||Jake Dennis||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||36m05.200s|
|2||Santino Ferrucci||KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport||Dallara/Mercedes||0.711s|
|3||Sergio Sette Camara||Motopark||Dallara/Volkswagen||1.056s|
|4||Brandon Maisano||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||1.853s|
|6||Charles Leclerc||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Volkswagen||3.397s|
|7||Maximilian Guenther||KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport||Dallara/Mercedes||3.849s|
|8||Raoul Hyman||Team West-Tec F3||Dallara/Mercedes||4.250s|
|9||Antonio Giovinazzi||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||Dallara/Volkswagen||4.786s|
|10||Alessio Lorandi||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Volkswagen||5.340s|
|12||Ryan Tveter||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||Dallara/Volkswagen||7.043s|
|14||Matt Rao||Fortec Motorsports||Dallara/Mercedes||9.226s|
|15||Fabian Schiller||Team West-Tec F3||Dallara/Mercedes||11.086s|
|19||Matt Solomon||Double R Racing||Dallara/Mercedes||16.170s|
|20||Martin Cao||Fortec Motorsports||Dallara/Mercedes||16.407s|
|21||Pietro Fittipaldi||Fortec Motorsports||Dallara/Mercedes||17.733s|
|22||Nicolas Pohler||Double R Racing||Dallara/Mercedes||18.582s|
|23||Arjun Maini||Van Amersfoort Racing||Dallara/Volkswagen||20.145s|
|24||Michele Beretta||KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport||Dallara/Mercedes||21.649s|
|26||Julio Moreno||ThreeBond with T-Sport||Dallara/NBE||25.487s|
|-||Gustavo Menezes||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||Dallara/Volkswagen||Retirement|
|-||Lance Stroll||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||Retirement|
|-||Mikkel Jensen||KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport||Dallara/Mercedes||Retirement|
|-||Felix Rosenqvist||Prema Powerteam||Dallara/Mercedes||Retirement|
|-||Kang Ling||KFZTeile24 Mucke Motorsport||Dallara/Mercedes||Retirement|
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