ART Grand Prix driver Marvin Kirchhofer edged out Arden’s Emil Bernstorff to take victory in race one of the GP3 Series at Silverstone.
The German made a great start to lead into turn one with Arden driver Bernstorff close behind.
In the opening laps Kirchhofer was able to fend off advances from Bernstorff and set about building a gap out front.
Bernstorff however had other ideas. The Brit consistently set fastest laps to bring the gap down to just 0.2s on the penultimate lap.
The leaders were soon fighting hard for the lead and it looked like it may end in tears as the pair ran side by side down the Wellington straight.
Kirchhofer however was able to hang on, despite his clear lack of grip, to take his second win of the season. But the German admitted it wasn’t easy.
“It definitely wasn’t an easy race,” said Kirchhofer.
“We had a good start and good pace. I was looking in my mirrors and I could pull away from the others in the beginning so it was pretty good.
“As we had an issue in Red Bull Ring at the end, I was aware of that for this race as we still had a few issues with the balance so we lost quite a lot of pace and it was really difficult for me to keep the lead.
“At the end, it did work out and I think we had quite a nice fight. This is a better feeling to win a race with a nice fight than driving alone.”
Despite finishing runner-up Bernstorff said he had fun fighting for the lead.
“I could see he [Kirchhofer] was struggling a bit at the end,” said Bernstorff. “I was just pushing and pushing like mad to catch him.
“I saw him make a mistake in Turn 3 and then it got really close. It was a really good race and it was really good fun even though I didn’t quite get him.
“But it was a really good fight and second is still a really good result, my best of the year.”
Matt Parry drove a controlled race to take his maiden GP3 podium. The Koiranen GP driver breezed past Alex Palou at the start to take third and was never threatened for the rest of the race.
Trident driver Luca Ghiotto clinched fourth place after a bold move on the outside of Koiranen’s Jimmy Eriksson at the penultimate corner on the final lap.
European Formula 3 champion Esteban Ocon was close behind in sixth ahead of Kevin Ceccon and Ralph Boschung.
Trident driver Arthur Janosz finished ninth and was followed across the line by Matheo Tuscher, who completed a stunning from 20th on the grid, in 10th.
Campos Racing driver Palou had a race to forget. The Spaniard made a poor start from third on the grid to fall down to fifth.
Things for Palou soon went from bad to worse as he lost power and was forced to retire.
Nissan protege Jann Mardenborough also had an eventful race filled with numerous bold overtakes. He could only manage to finish down in 17th though following a poor start.