Russell fights of Eriksson challenge for race two Spa win


George Russell - Credit: FIA Formula 3 European Championship / Thomas Suer

George Russell secured his second victory of the season after overcoming the early challenge of Joel Eriksson during race two at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday.

Pole sitter Russell led into the first corner but was shuffled down to third down the Kemmel Straight behind Eriksson and Nikita Mazepin as the top four ran almost side by side.

Unfortunately Mazepin’s challenge ended at the exit of the Bus Stop chicane, with Eriksson getting a gap to the chasing pack as a result of Russell being delayed by his Hitech GP team-mate’s retirement.

Russell closed the gap down again and was in position to get back to the front of the race on the sixth lap, passing Eriksson on the Kemmel Straight, and from there on in was untouchable, winning by 7.398 seconds from the Motopark driver.

Mikkel Jensen was involved in the first lap tussle down and claimed his first podium finish of the season for Mücke Motorsport, while Anthoine Hubert secured fourth despite having taken a two-place grid penalty for track limit offences in the opening race.

Hubert led a trio of Van Amersfoort Racing drivers ahead of team-mates Callum Ilott and Pedro Piquet, the latter securing his best result of the season, while all three managed to pass Maximilian Günther of Prema Powerteam, with the team unable to show any sign of good pace throughout the race.

Günther was the only points scorer of the four-car team that has won twelve races in 2016, with Ralf Aron the next best finisher in fourteenth, while Nick Cassidy ended seventeenth. Championship leader Lance Stroll pitted at the end of the first lap with a puncture and was never in contention again, ending two laps down in nineteenth.

Guanyu Zhou took eighth for Motopark, while Ryan Tveter of Carlin and Niko Kari of Motopark claimed the final points on offer in ninth and tenth, with the latter holding off the late race challenge of Ben Barnicoat, who had stalled on the formation lap and was forced to start from the pit lane.

Spa-Francorchamps Race 2 Result

POSNO.DRIVERNATTEAMTIME
112George RussellGBRHitech GP35:40.974
222Joel ErikssonSWEMotopark+7.398
37Mikkel JensenDENMucke Motorsport+8.738
421Anthoine HubertFRAVan Amersfoort Racing+10.587
56Callum IlottGBRVan Amersfoort Racing+13.708
65Pedro PiquetBRZVan Amersfoort Racing+17.398
717Maximilian GuntherGERPrema Powerteam+18.932
823Guanyu ZhouCHNMotopark+20.729
93Ryan TveterUSACarlin+22.186
1010Niko KariFINMotopark+24.485
1124Ben BarnicoatGBRHitech GP+25.365
1220Harrison NeweyGBRVan Amersfoort Racing+29.113
134Alessio LorandiITACarlin+41.906
1416Ralf AronESTPrema Powerteam+42.480
1519Weiron TanMALCarlin+54.402
168David BeckmannGERMucke Motorsport+1:28.322
172Nick CassidyNZLPrema Powerteam+1:52.545
1815Ukyo SasaharaJAPThreeBond with T-Sport+1 Lap
191Lance StrollCANPrema Powerteam+2 Laps
RET9Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMotoparkRetired
RET11Nikita MazepinRUSHitech GPRetired