GP3 Series

Albon leads ART GP one-two in Silverstone opener

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Alexander Albon (THA, ART Grand Prix) Charles Leclerc (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Antonio Fuoco (ITA, Trident) 2016 GP3 Series Round 3 Silverstone, UK. Saturday 9 July 2016. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service. ref: Digital Image _SBB2413

Having taken his maiden GP3 Series pole position in qualifying, Alexander Albon went on to complete a perfect Saturday, claiming maximum points by adding the win and fastest lap.

The Thai driver now sits at the top of the drivers’ standings over ART Grand Prix team-mate Charles Leclerc who joined Albon on the podium despite having to start in seventh as a result of a penalty. Trident‘s Antonio Fuoco rounded off the rostrum.

Albon made a clean getaway from pole position to maintain the lead ahead of Sandy Stuvik with Matevos Isaakyan up to third – however, the Russian was soon passed by Fuoco to claim the final podium position.

Contact between ART drivers’ Nyck de Vries and Nirei Fukuzumi at Turn 6 handed the Dutchman a five-second penalty, although the pair were able to continue in the race. Elsewhere, their teammate Leclerc had made swift work of Isaakyan and had his sights set on Fuoco. Out front the final ART driver had built a gap of four seconds to Stuvik with Fuoco, Leclerc and Jake Hughes in pursuit behind.

Eventually, Fuoco pipped Stuvik for second with Leclerc and Hughes following suit. Several laps later Ferrari Driver Academy members Fuoco and Leclerc enjoyed a hard wheel to wheel battle with the Monegasque driver claiming the upper hand to take second. From then on Leclerc set about to close the gap to Albon.

Hughes’ race took a turn for the worse with him being the only retirement when he pulled into the pit lane with a damaged rear wing.

The man on the move was Matthew Parry who on lap thirteen passed Isaakyan and then Stuvik to find himself in fourth place. Unfortunately for Isaakyan he was shown the black and orange flag meaning he had to pit to repair his wing mirror, which dropped him out of the points after a strong showing in the early staged of the race.

As the laps ticked down Albon’s lead was down to 2.1 seconds but the Thai driver was in control and confident as the race drew to a close. It was far more frantic behind until the chequered flag was shown with Ralph Boschung and Artur Janosz overtaking Stuvik for sixth, while Albon’s margin over Leclerc fell to 1.5 seconds.

Further down the order, Jake Dennis passed Alex Palou for ninth before harassing Stuvik for eighth and the all-important reverse grid pole for the Sprint Race – which the Brit claimed on the final lap.

At the chequered flag, Albon claimed his second victory on the season, with Leclerc a close second place. Fuoco bagged yet another podium ahead of Parry, de Vries*, Boschung, Janosz, Dennis and Stuvik. Jenzer Motorsport‘s new recruit Arjun Maini pocketed the final point on his debut.

However, following the race the stewards deemed that Artur Janosz and Jake Dennis failed to respect track limits and as a result five second penalties were applied to their final race time. Janosz had finished P7 but now finds himself P9 and Dennis had been on course to start from reverse pole but is now classified P12 and out of the points.

As a result Maini will not start from reverse pole with Sandy Stuvik alongside, with the 15 lap Sprint Race set to get underway at 8.15am local time, with rain forecasted.

Silverstone Race 1 Results

[table id=1250 /]

*Nyck de Vries was handed a five second time penalty for causing a collision.

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