Jake Dennis brought himself right into the European Formula 3 championship battle after taking victory in race three at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Racing Steps Foundation-backed Prema Powerteam driver took advantage of a drying track to stay out of trouble to take his second win of the season and fourth of the year.
The British driver watched as the wet-tyre shod Tatiana Calderon drove into the lead for Carlin, only for her grip levels to fade as the track dried out, with Dennis reclaiming the lead that he held until the chequered flag. Calderon was forced to pit for dry tyres to take herself out of the equation for points, but the Colombian was able to finally show what she is made of.
Charles Leclerc extended his championship lead after finishing second for Van Amersfoort Racing, and was closing on Dennis when the chequered flag fell a few laps shy of the total scheduled race distance due to the time limit expiring.
Completing the podium was Carlin’s George Russell, who held off team-mate and Red Bull-backed compatriot Callum Ilott, who took his best result of the season so far in fourth.
Felix Rosenqvist finished fifth for Prema Powerteam, but had been in contention for the race win before battling with Motopark driver Markus Pommer, who almost knocked him off the road at the end of the Kemmel Straight on one lap, before spinning the Swedish driver around at the start of the next. Pommer had earned himself a drive-through penalty for the first incident, but the second clash with Rosenqvist earned him a black flag and a disqualification.
Brandon Maisano was sixth for Prema Powerteam ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing’s Alessio Lorandi, with Mücke Motorsport’s Maximilian Günther finishing on his tail in eighth.
Ninth having started towards the back of the grid and having a spin mid-race was the Lotus-backed Signature driver Alexander Albon, while the top ten was completed by Fortec Motorsports’ Pietro Fittipaldi.
Antonio Giovinazzi was on course for a top five finish but was called into the pits by the stewards with just a lap of the race remaining to repair the front wing of his Jagonya Ayam with Carlin car that dropped him down to fifteenth at the flag.
Mikkel Jensen of Mücke Motorsport retired from the lead after being tagged into a spin by race winner Dennis on the fifth lap, with the Danish driver spinning into the barriers at Les Combes after hitting the damp patch of the track.
Team West-Tec F3’s Raoul Hyman was an early casualty after contact with Van Amersfoort Racing’s Arjun Maini, necessitating the introduction of the safety car with the Hyman’s car stranded at turn one. Sergio Sette Camara, the surprise podium finisher during race two on Saturday, was handed a penalty after the Motopark driver collided with Signature’s Dorian Boccolacci on the opening lap.
Matt Rao of Fortec Motorsports and Fabian Schiller of Team West-Tec F3 were eliminated after a collision at Les Combes late in the race, while a number of drivers found themselves spinning during the race, including Sam MacLeod of Motopark who spun when battling Albon, and Santino Ferrucci. MacLeod would finish just outside the points in eleventh as a result, with Mücke Motorsport’s Ferrucci, a podium finisher in race two, twelfth.
Only thirty-one cars took to the grid for race three, with Lance Stroll banned following his race two altercation with Rosenqvist and Jensen, while Gustavo Menezes did not participate following his own huge crash at Les Combes yesterday.
Spa-Francorchamps Race 3 Result
|1||2||Jake Dennis||GBR||Prema Powerteam||35m15.713s|
|2||7||Charles Leclerc||MON||Van Amersfoort Racing||+0.885s|
|5||1||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Prema Powerteam||+11.450s|
|6||24||Brandon Maisano||FRA||Prema Powerteam||+22.025s|
|7||8||Alessio Lorandi||ITA||Van Amersfoort Racing||+23.020s|
|8||28||Maximilian Gunther||GER||Mucke Motorsport||+23.605s|
|10||12||Pietro Fittipaldi||BRZ||Fortec Motorsports||+25.376s|
|12||5||Santino Ferrucci||USA||Mucke Motorsport||+27.520s|
|14||26||Ryan Tveter||USA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+35.380s|
|15||3||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+42.488s|
|16||29||Arjun Maini||IND||Van Amersfoort Racing||+45.571s|
|17||31||Hongwei Cao||CHN||Fortec Motorsports||+45.663s|
|19||17||Julio Moreno||ECU||Threebond with T-Sport||+1m21.399s|
|20||35||Kang Ling||CHN||Mucke Motorsport||+1m21.436s|
|21||6||Michele Beretta||ITA||Mucke Motorsport||+1m27.808s|
|22||23||Sergio Sette Camara||BRZ||Motopark||+1m53.710s|
|25||19||Matt Solomon||HKG||Double R Racing||+2 Laps|
|RET||11||Fabian Schiller||GER||Team West-Tec F3||Retired|
|RET||14||Matt Rao||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||Retired|
|RET||27||Mikkel Jensen||DEN||Mucke Motorsport||Retired|
|RET||38||Raoul Hyman||RSA||Team West-Tec F3||Retired|
|RET||18||Nicolas Pohler||GER||Double R Racing||Retired|
|DNS||4||Gustavo Menezes||USA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin|
|DQ||25||Lance Stroll||CAN||Prema Powerteam|