Koiranen GP driver Jimmy Eriksson started on reverse grid pole, with teammate Matt Parry alongside, and managed to see off the challenge that Antonio Fuoco posed for him – despite Fuoco briefly leading the opening lap.
Eriksson managed to lead a calm and confident race to the flag – fittingly after having lost the race win due to technical gremlins at the previous round in Monza. ART Grand Prix‘s Esteban Ocon recorded his ninth consecutive second place finish, with Carlin‘s Jann Mardenborough rounding out the podium.
Unfortunately for Parry from his brilliant second place slot on the grid, he had a difficult start and was slow away and had to pull into the pits early on and retire the car.
Having started in eighth place after winning the Feature Race, championship leader Luca Ghiotto found himself in sixth place – two places behind main title rival Ocon, with Emil Bernstorff sandwiched between the two. Whilst trying to over the Briton, Ghiotto was forced out wide over the kerbs and subsequently lost three places and found himself out of the points.
Eriksson had managed to build himself a gap of over 1.6s over Mardenborough, with Fuoco close behind his teammate. Ocon, soon found himself in the heart of the action and after several laps of trying managed to make a brave move stick for third place.
Bernstorff was close to the tussling pair and looked to pounce but was denied by Fuoco. The Brit tried again but ran wide and conceded fifth place to Artur Janosz. Out front Eriksson was extending his lead to Mardenborough to over 3.4s, with Ocon reeling in the latter.
The ART Grand Prix driver was catching Mardenborough at a rate of knots and on the penultimate lap he made an impressive and bold pass once again. There was a whole hoard of cars battling it out behind them for Bernstorff’s P6 and – crucially – on the final lap Ghiotto overtook Campos Racing‘s Alex Palou for the final points scoring position.
Eriksson took the chequered flag to claim his first win in over a year, and third of his GP3 Series career. Ocon came home in yet another second place and closed the gap to Ghiotto massively. Mardenborough completed the podium, with Fuoco, Bernstorff, Marvin Kirchhöfer and Ghiotto rounding out the points finishers.
Heading into the penultimate round in six weeks time, Ghiotto’s advantage in the drivers’ championship has been cut to just two points with the Italian on 196 points and Ocon on 194. Bernstorff had moved into third on 146 points and also holds a two point advantage over Kirchhöfer in fourth place.
ART hold a mighty lead in the teams’ standings currently sitting on 357 points, ahead of Arden International who hold 227 points and Trident Racing who sit in third with 224 points.
Round 8 of the GP3 Series is a unique one, it will be held at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain next month on 19-21 November and will form the support race for the WEC 6 Hours of Bahrain.