Despite losing the lead on the opening lap from pole position Felix Serralles fought back to retake the lead and win the first Cooper Tires British Formula Three International Series race at Spa-Francorchamps.
The win moved Serralles to within a single point of Jack Harvey in the points' championship.
Having started from pole position Serralles was pushed back to second by fellow front row starter Carlos Sainz Jr. as the typically combative field got off the line and rounded La Source for the first time.
Sainz's time in the lead was short lined, Serralles securing a better run out of La Source and through Eau Rouge and Radillion to slipstream past his rival in time for the braking zone at Les Combes.
That move down the long Kemmel Straight was a favourite of all the Formula Three drivers, with several places being decided on the flat out blast towards Les Combes. Just as he lost the lead Sainz lost second overall to Daniel Juncadella two laps later, the Spanish Prema Powerteam driver able to drive past his countryman before moving back to claim the racing line for the right hand turn to begin the chicane.
Even once clear of Sainz Juncadella – the best of the Formula Three Euro Series drivers in the race had no answer for Serralles, the Puerto Rican pulling away lap by lap almost without fail, passing under the checkered flag at the end of 13 laps 5.657 seconds ahead of Juncadella, who was himself five clear of Sainz who completed the podium but picked up the points for second owing to Junacdella's place in the invitation class of the British Series as the UK based series and the European championship combined.
After a fine drive after starting tenth Jack Harvey climbed to fourth, protecting his championship lead in the process. He took advantage of a hectic opening lap that included his Carlin teammate Harry Tinknell making a terrible start, dropping down to 19th to complete the first lap. After passing Alex Lynn Harvey went to work on Jazeman Jaafar for fourth place.
Alex Lynn demoted Michael Lewis to take sixth on the final lap behind the Harvey versus Jaafar battle. Pipo Derani the final British Series runner in the top ten as Mucke Motorsports' Felix Rosenqvist and ma-con Motorsport driver Tom Blomqvist rounding out the top ten overall.
Duvashen Padayachee dominated the National Class, leading from the first lap onwards, the Australian another to benefit from the hectic opening lap, spending most of his race dicing with the slower International and Invitation class cars with his National Class rivals some way adrift.
Behind the Double R driver a three way battle raged for the minor podium places in the class. Spike Goddard initially occupied second before losing out to series newcomer Pedro Pablo Calbimonte moved past his T-Sport teammate to take second on lap seven.
Calbimonte looked the man most likely to take second place, at times eroding into the Padayachee's lead – as great as six seconds on occasions. However on the penultimate lap of the half-hour race Calbimonte fell back behind both Adderly Fong and Goddard, having to chase them home as the only National Class driver to miss out on the podium.