Spa GP3: Dean Stoneman wins hectic opening race

Manor's Dean Stoneman scored his second GP3 Series victory at Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday

Spa GP3: Dean Stoneman wins hectic opening race

The Briton took full advantage of starting on slick tyres on a damp but drying track, and inheriting victory when leader Matheo Tuscher spun off.

Stoneman started 11th, but the leading starter on slick tyres, Patric Niderhauser, took himself and title contender Jimmy Eriksson out at the first corner.

That mantle should have been held by Marvin Kirchhofer, but he failed to start after shunting heavily on the warm-up lap.

Carlin's Emil Bernstorff took the lead from polesitting debutant Luca Ghiotto (Trident) at the start, but knew that his wet tyres were the wrong choice and pitted for slicks at the end of the opening lap.

Ghiotto led for three laps until Tuscher cruised past him as the track dried out. Tuscher then held a two-second lead over Stoneman when he ran wide at Eau Rouge and spun on the damp patch on the run-off.

He stalled as he came to rest back on the racing line at Raidillon, but fortunately everybody missed him.

Dino Zamparelli came through to finish second for ART Grand Prix, with Nick Yelloly (Status) completing an all-British podium.

Another Briton, Jann Mardenborough, finished fourth for Arden, ahead of Pal Varhaug, Alex Fontana and title rivals Richie Stanaway and Alex Lynn, who fought an epic duel over seventh after both had pitted on the warm-up lap for slicks.

Follow Sunday's second GP3 race as it happens on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live

Results - 12 laps Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Dean Stoneman Manor 28m58.508s 2. Dino Zamparelli ART +1.210s 3. Nick Yelloly Status +2.923s 4. Jann Mardenborough Arden +3.837s 5. Pal Varhaug Jenzer +4.938s 6. Alex Fontana ART +5.734s 7. Richie Stanaway Status +7.01s2 8. Alex Lynn Carlin +7.555s 9. Emil Bernstorff Carlin +8.059s 10. Riccardo Agostini Hilmer +9.237s 11. Kevin Ceccon Jenzer +10.027s 12. Alfonso Celis Status +10.547s 13. Santiago Urrutia Koiranen +11.831s 14. Ryan Cullen Manor +25.472s 15. Nelson Mason Hilmer +35.045s 16. Luis Sa Silva Carlin +1m10.700s 17. Carmen Jorda Koiranen +1m43.531s 18. Luca Ghiotto Trident +1m45.090s 19. Sebastian Balthasar Hilmer -2 laps 20. John Bryant-Meisner Trident -2 laps Retirements Matheo Tuscher Jenzer 5 laps Robert Visoiu Arden 8 laps Patrick Kujala Manor 12 laps Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen 12 laps Marvin Kirchhofer ART 12 laps Patric Niederhauser Arden 12 laps 
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