Spa GP3: Tio Ellinas leads crash-disrupted wet practice

Tio Ellinas was fastest in a significantly interrupted GP3 Series practice session at Spa-Francorchamps

Spa GP3: Tio Ellinas leads crash-disrupted wet practice

The Cypriot Manor driver waited until the last lap of the session to post a 2m28.100s time and deprive form man Antonio Felix da Costa of the top spot after the field lost 20 minutes because of a red flag when Belgian John Wartique crashed at Eau Rouge.

The session began in wet conditions with heavy drizzle and intense spray. Daniel Abt had only completed two laps and set the fastest time thus far (2m32.126s) when Wartique went off heavily.

The former Eurocup Clio racer's Atech CRS Dallara went into the tyres backwards and all but disappeared in the retaining wall.

Wartique was able to climb from his machine unaided but was taken by ambulance to the medical centre.

Once the session resumed da Costa shot to the top of the times with a 2m29.211s lap - highlighting the improving conditions as the rain stopped and the track's treachery levels decreased.

The Portuguese would improve on that time with an impressive 2m28.482s lap - more than 0.8 seconds faster than anyone else on track.

He went quicker again with a 2m28.145s, but ultimately that was not enough to protect him from Ellinas.

Abt was third despite running wide at Rivage. Conor Daly bumped Alex Brundle down to fifth right on the flag.

Championship contender Aaro Vainio was sixth - and he too spun at Fagnes - ahead of points leader Mitch Evans.

Matias Laine, Lewis Williamson and Alex Fontana completed the top 10.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Tio Ellinas Manor 2m28.100s 2. Antonio Felix da Costa Carlin 2m28.143s + 0.043s 3. Daniel Abt Lotus 2m28.204s + 0.104s 4. Conor Daly Lotus 2m28.392s + 0.292s 5. Alex Brundle Carlin 2m29.063s + 0.963s 6. Aaro Vainio Lotus 2m29.498s + 1.398s 7. Mitch Evans MW Arden 2m29.555s + 1.455s 8. Matias Laine MW Arden 2m29.692s + 1.592s 9. Lewis Williamson Status 2m29.925s + 1.825s 10. Alex Fontana Jenzer 2m30.093s + 1.993s 11. David Fumanelli MW Arden 2m30.122s + 2.022s 12. Will Buller Carlin 2m30.133s + 2.033s 13. Tamas Pal Kiss Atech CRS 2m30.296s + 2.196s 14. Marlon Stockinger Status 2m30.324s + 2.224s 15. Patric Niederhauser Jenzer 2m30.556s + 2.456s 16. Kevin Ceccon Ocean 2m30.801s + 2.701s 17. Robert Visoiu Jenzer 2m30.998s + 2.898s 18. Giovanni Venturini Trident 2m31.157s + 3.057s 19. Robert Cregan Ocean 2m31.404s + 3.304s 20. Ethan Ringel Atech CRS 2m31.455s + 3.355s 21. Fabiano Machado Manor 2m31.584s + 3.484s 22. Dmitry Suranovich Manor 2m31.832s + 3.732s 23. Vicky Piria Trident 2m34.041s + 5.941s 24. Carmen Jorda Ocean 2m35.412s + 7.312s 25. Alice Powell Status 2m35.772s + 7.672s 26. John Wartique Atech CRS 2m36.035s + 7.935s 
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Series FIA F3
Author Simon Strang
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