Aitken Claims Maiden Win in Safety Car Filled Race

Jack Aitken (GBR, Arden International) crosses the line 2016 GP3 Series Round 6 Spa - Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium Sunday 28 August 2016 Photo: /GP3 Series Media Service ref: Digital Image _SLA4837

An excellent drive through the field saw Jack Aitken take his maiden GP3 Series win. The Anglo-Korean driver worked his way to the front early and never looked back in a race filled with safety cars.

A strong start from Aitken saw him jump immediately into second from third. A few corners later he took the lead from polesitter Matevos Isaakyan, racing into Spa-Francorchamps‘ Ardennes Forest.

Elsewhere, Tatiana Calderon ended in the wall at La Source on the opening lap, ending her race, while Konstantin Tereschenko also retired early after spinning out with a puncture, bringing out an early safety car.

Antonio Fuoco made a strong restart and was immediately past Steijn Schothorst. Sadly for him, the green flag running didn’t last long as Jake Hughes collided with Matt Parry, putting them both out. A second safety car was called to clear the stricken cars of the two Brits, who also were involved in the turn one clash during Saturday’s opening race..

Only a few laps later Hughes DAMS team-mate, Kevin Jorg ended his win at the same corner. Contact with Nirei Fukuzumi saw him launch into the barrier on the outside of Les Combes. A final safety car was thus called with Aitken once again managing the field, with Fukuzumi taking a ten-second penalty for the incident.

This time though, Aitken had to hold off Santino Ferrucci and Fuoco who had quickly worked their way up the order to fill the final podium positions. Fortunately for the Arden International driver Fuoco battled with Ferrucci to take second with just a handful of laps to go, allowing Aitken to pull away.

Victory for Aitken was his first of the season and will be beneficial for him as his rivals struggled. Fuoco maximised his result in order to close on Charles Leclerc while Ferrucci took his first GP3 podium.

Behind them, Isaakyan managed to hold on to fourth despite late pressure from Leclerc and Jake Dennis. The championship leader though sacrificed fifth in the final corner after locking up and losing his position to Dennis.

The final points were collected by Schothorst and Nyck de Vries after a torrid weekend for ART Grand Prix. Meanwhile Alexander Albon was launched into the air by Arjun Maini, yet still came home tenth, although his championship chances took a big hit as he failed to score points.

GP3 – Spa-Francorchamps – Race Two Result

111Jack AitkenGBRArden International31m56.599
25Antonio FuocoITATrident31m58.368
326Santino FerrucciUSADAMS32m02.419
416Matevos IsaakyanRUSKoiranen GP32m03.806
59Jake DennisGBRArden International32m04.307
61Charles LeclercMONART Grand Prix32m05.035
723Steijn SchothorstNEDCampos Racing32m05.944
84Nyck De VriesNEDART Grand Prix32m06.450
96Artur JanoszPOLTrident32m08.213
103Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix32m08.962
1122Alex PalouESPCampos Racing32m11.130
127Giuliano AlesiFRATrident32m12.518
1318Akash NandyMASJenzer Motorsport32m13.178
1417Niko KariFINKoiranen GP32m14.190
152Nirei FukuzumiJPNART Grand Prix32m19.874
1620Arjun MainiINDJenzer Motorsport32m21.971
RET8Stuvik StuvikTHATridentRetired
RET28Kevin JoergSUIDAMSRetired
RET14Matt ParryGBRKoiranen GPRetired
RET27Jake HughesGBRDAMSRetired
RET24Konstantin TereschenkoRUSCampos RacingRetired
RET10Tatiana CalderonCOLArden InternationalRetired
DNS6Oscar TunjoCOLJenzer MotorsportDid not Start