Valtteri Bottas increases GP3 points lead with Spa victory

Valtteri Bottas extended his GP3 championship lead with a dominant victory in wet conditions at Spa

Valtteri Bottas increases GP3 points lead with Spa victory

The ART driver grabbed the lead from his team-mate James Calado by out-dragging him away from the start. Calado then had a look to the inside, but Bottas left just enough room to avoid contact and hold the advantage.

From there, he pulled away at an incredible rate. His lead was four seconds after two laps, 6.5s after five and up to 9.5s by lap eight. From there, he backed off and cruised to victory.

Calado had a lonely race to second, while the battle for third provided plenty of action in the early laps. RSC Mucke driver Nigel Melker had to pass Manor's Adrian Quaife-Hobbs three times for the position, and on the first two times he made his move around the outside at the fearsome Blanchimont corner.

Quaife-Hobbs was faster on the run out of Eau Rouge though, and he twice took the place back on the long back straight. Melker then caught him by surprise with a lunge into Stavelot that proved to be the deciding moment in their scrap.

Behind them, Conor Daly resisted several laps of pressure from a charging Alexander Sims. The Status driver had climbed from 17th to seventh on the opening lap, and then picked off Tom Dillmann (Addax) in the early stages.

Daly kept him at bay for four laps, before the Status Grand Prix driver suffered a high-speed 360-degree spin as he looked to the inside at Blanchimont. Sims held his place initially, but he soon fell down the order before retiring on the penultimate lap.

The main beneficiary of his misfortune was series debutant Richie Stanaway, who took the final point - and therefore pole position for race two - in the third ART entry.

Results - 12 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Valtteri Bottas ART 31m02.902s 2. James Calado ART + 6.495s 3. Nigel Melker RSC Mucke + 13.979s 4. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Manor + 21.117s 5. Conor Daly Carlin + 24.915s 6. Tom Dillmann Addax + 34.338s 7. Nico Muller Jenzer + 40.898s 8. Richie Stanaway ART + 43.583s 9. Lewis Williamson MW Arden + 45.330s 10. Ivan Lukashevich Status + 50.869s 11. Mitch Evans MW Arden + 51.538s 12. Rio Haryanto Manor + 53.789s 13. Aaro Vainio Tech 1 + 1m01.520s 14. Alex Fontana Jenzer + 1m05.130s 15. Michael Christensen RSC Mucke + 1m06.596s 16. Gabby Chaves Addax + 1m09.195s 17. Tamas Pal Kiss Tech 1 + 1m13.548s 18. Matias Laine Manor + 1m14.024s 19. Simon Trummer MW Arden + 1m14.988s 20. Dean Smith Addax + 1m20.817s 21. Leonardo Cordeiro Carlin + 1m27.518s 22. Thomas Hylkema Tech 1 + 1m49.087s Retirements: Alexander Sims Status 9 laps Maxim Zimin Jenzer 9 laps Marlon Stockinger Atech CRS 6 laps Daniel Mancinelli RSC Mucke 3 laps Antonio Felix da Costa Status 1 laps Callum MacLeod Carlin 1 laps Nick Yelloly Atech CRS 0 laps Zoel Amberg Atech CRS 0 laps 
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James Calado leads all-ART GP3 front row in wet/dry Spa session

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