Emil Bernstorff was victorious for Arden International in Saturday afternoon’s GP3 series race around Monza when he held off Esteban Ocon on the penultimate lap for the win, the British driver taking his second series win of the season. Also representing Arden International, Kevin Ceccon put on a magnificent show when he came home to take the final podium position in front of his home crowd.
It started when poleman Luca Ghiotto, who had showed nothing but a strong form throughout the earlier stages of the weekend, was left disappointed when he stalled on the grid allowing championship leader and Mercedes junior Ocon to lead for the majority of the race. The Trident car was unable to get going again and was rolled into the pitlane for an early retirement; the Italian driver upset to not be able to put on a show for the home fans who had travelled to see him.
The field had managed to avoid the lifeless Trident car on the front row and so Ocon, Ceccon and Koiranen GP’s Matthew Parry passed Ghiotto to charge into the first corner as the Top Three. Meanwhile, Bernstorff was doing his best to get past Marvin Kirchhöfer for fourth place and even though the German was briefly airborne when he ran on the kerbs after contact with Ceccon, it wasn’t until the ninth lap that Bernstorff was able to get past the ART Grand Prix driver.
Antonio Fuoco had been caught out early on in the race when a spin saw the Italian Ferrari Academy driver hit the barrier in an accident that meant he was forced to retire. Another disappointed Italian on Saturday afternoon.
When the race hit the halfway point, Parry was beginning to close in on Ocon for the lead despite the gap of half a second that the Frenchman had pulled out in the opening stages of the race. Bernstorff began to fill the mirrors of his teammate Ceccon and managed to get past the Italian before he made a clean move on fellow Brit Parry to take second place as he began his charge to take the lead from Ocon.
Ceccon soon passed Parry whilst his teammate closed in on the rear wing of the ART Grand Prix car ahead of him.
It was a spectacular move on the outside of the Frenchman by Bernstorff on the penultimate lap that secured the Brit the victory and he crossed the line in front of the Italian crowd to take the chequered flag for the Arden International team.
With Ocon second and Ceccon third, Parry crossed the line in fourth, after he was passed on the final lap by the Italian, ahead of Kirchhöfer. The German managed to come home in fifth ahead of Sweden’s Jimmy Eriksson.
In seventh was Matheo Tuscher and Alex Palou finished eighth meaning he would start Sunday morning’s race on reverse grid pole. Alex Fontana and Seb Morris crossed the line the line in ninth and tenth, the Status Grand Prix pair completing the points scoring positions.