Jean-Eric Vergne took victory in both of the Fridays races as the British Formula Three Championship visited Spa-Francorchamps.
The Frenchman, who lead the title battle to Belguim started the first race from pole, but immediately faced strong opposition the run down to La Source after making a start he described as “quite bad”.
Carlin teammate James Calado stole past into the lead followed by Vergne's title rival Oli Webb as the pole-sitter fought with Rupert Svendsen-Cook for third.
Victorious in that minor battle Vergne began clawing back the time lost to Calado, who had escaped to a three second lead in the Racing Steps Foundation backed Dallara. Vergne was past Webb on lap two and had sped up to the rear of Calado's car “within three of four laps” according to Vergne.
On lap seven Vergne was past Calado at Radillon, and though Calado clung manfully to the rear wing of the Red Bull backed car he could only shadow Vergne across the line 1.114 seconds behind at the end the 13 lap race.
Eleven seconds behind Calado Svendsen-Cook completed an all Carlin podium having wrestled third from Webb on lap seven to score his first podium since his reverse grid victory at Oulton Park.
With the random reverse grid set to seven Vergne's second win was all the more remarkable. “I think it is possible to win from seventh on the grid at Spa,” he said with a sense of foreboding (in hindsight). “That is what I am aiming to do.”
In a marked contrast to the first race Vergne made a good start, but his race was made when a “big mess” a Les Combes which allowed him into second behind Felipe Nasr, the Raikkonen-Robertson driver looking to add to his win at Rockingham in the previous round.
However, a lap later and a near-unstoppable Vergne had taken the lead, before building up enough to a lead to safeguard against Nasr benefitting from the slipstream along the monstrous Kemmel Straight.
Nasr remained second to finish 0.6 seconds behind Vergne. “The race in general was good for me,” said Felipe. “It was difficult to stay with him because he was very quick in the second sector of the lap. If I could have got a bit closer I could have maybe got past him.”
Daniel McKenzie, another of the winners at Rockingham, completed the podium fending off first his Fortec Motorsport teammate Oli Webb, the James Calado to secure third place.
Calado's challenge had lasted until the Bus Stop chicane on the final lap, when a last chance lunge for the position ended only in the Carlin driver going for spin, only just holding onto fourth over Webb, the gap between the two at the line just three tenths.
There was also a double winner in the National Class as Menasheh Idafar bettered his T-Sport stablemate James Cole in both races to move into the class points lead once more, though only by four points.
Both Vergne and Idafar will try to complete a clean sweep of the Spa races in the weekend's final 40-minute race, held on Saturday.