Arden International’s Jake Dennis has taken an assured maiden win in GP3 from the front of the grid.
The British driver passed ART Grand Prix’s polesitter and leader Charles Leclerc at turn one on the fifth lap of the race and never looked back to become the eighth different winner in the series this year.
Further happiness was to come for Arden as Belgian sprint race winner Jack Aitken also shortly passed Leclerc at turn one on the next lap to make it a 1-2 for the team, a position which he stayed in for his third podium in four races.
DAMS’ Jake Hughes was the last driver to pass Leclerc later in the race. After being interrupted in qualifying to set a fifth fastest lap time and have a three-place grid penalty from the last race, he made his way through the order steadily. He consistently set fastest laps as he made his way through to sixth, fifth and fourth before getting past Leclerc on lap 15. Despite closing on Aitken, he couldn’t make up enough time to get past his compatriot, although he did complete an all-British podium.
Leclerc finished in fourth place ahead of teammates Nirei Fukuzumi, Alex Albon and Nyck de Vries to ensure that the team became Teams’ Championship winners for the sixth time.
Trident’s Antonio Fuoco came eighth in his home feature race, but the team only scored four points, a total which couldn’t stop ART becoming champions. Koiranen GP’s Matt Parry came from a lowly grid position of 17th to finish ninth.
Arden’s Tatiana Calderon finished in tenth place to complete the points scorers and she made history as the first woman to score two points finishes in the series as she continues to dare to be different.
Campos Racing’s Alex Palou just missed out on the points in 11th, ahead of Trident’s Sandy Stuvik and the Spaniard’s teammate Steijn Schothorst. Jenzer Motorsport’s Arjun Maini finished in 14th after making an early pit stop, finishing clear of teammate Akash Nandy.
Trident’s Artur Janosz came from a pit lane start to a 16th place finish, with Campos’ Konstantin Tereschenko and Koiranen’s Ralph Boschung the last two drivers on the lead lap. Boschung fell down the order after colliding with his teammate Matevos Isaakyan and was then given a 10-second time penalty.
DAMS’ Santino Ferrucci retired late on and was one lap down, with DAMS’ Kevin Joerg four laps down after having a problem on the second lap that saw him ground to a halt. This brought the safety car out on the second lap but it was not needed as Joerg quickly got going again. It came back into the pits at the end of lap three.
Isaakyan failed to finish after severe rear wing damage after the collision with Boschung, while Trident’s Giuliano Alesi stopped on the formation lap.
With these results, Leclerc extends his Drivers’ Championship lead to 34 points. The Monegasque driver now has 177 points compared to Fuoco’s 143. Albon sits in third on 133. The big movers in the championship are Dennis and Aitken, who move up to fourth and sixth on 88 and 83 points respectively.
In the Teams’ Championship, ART are the champions and are now on 434 points and have a lead of 261 points over second-place Arden with 245 points remaining from the final two feature and three sprint races in 2016.
Arden have jumped up from fourth to second on 173 points after gaining a huge 44 points in this race and have the best form of any team in the last three races, gaining 95 points. Trident have fallen to third on 154 points after their home feature race.