Hughes victorious at Yas Marina

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Sunday 27 November 2016. Jake Hughes (GBR, DAMS) Jack Aitken (GBR, Arden International) and Nirei Fukuzumi (JPN, ART Grand Prix) World Copyright: Zak Mauger/LAT Photographic ref: Digital Image _X0W8654

Having started the GP3 Series Feature Race from the pitlane it was a massive change of fortunes for Jake Hughes who fought back to earn himself a front row start for the final race of the 2016 season, the Briton was opportunistic on the inside of Turn 1 and remained unchallenged until the chequered flag.

Arden International‘s Jack Aitken  was second with ART Grand Prix‘s Nirei Fukuzumi rounding off the podium.

Campos Racing‘s Konstantin Tereschenko started from reverse pole after claiming his first points in the series the previous day. From fourth place Fukuzumi made a good start to jump into the lead but ran wide slightly with Tereschenko and Alex Palou alongside him. As the trio battled it out Hughes dove down the inside to take the lead.

As pole sitter Tereschenko dropped down to P7 Aitken leapt up to P2.

An early safety car period was called after wheel to wheel contact between Alexander Albon and Tatiana Calderon, that left the Thai driver in the barrier and the Columbian to also retire. This brought an end to a disastrous weekend for Albon  who had been in the title fight up until this weekend.

When racing resumed Hughes led Aitken and Fukuzumi. Further down the field the Campos trio were battling away with Palou passing Steijn Schothorst and the Tereschenko also got the job done on his team-mate.

Nearly crowned champion Charles Leclerc started from P17, after having to retire from the feature race, the Monegasque set about carving his way through the pack. Antonio Fuoco was a man on the move, and endured a fierce battle with feature race winner Nyck de Vries – the Italian continually attacked the Dutchman for P11 but ran wide. The Trident drive was then required to give the position back  after gaining an advantage and was issued a 5s time penalty for causing a collision.

Out front Hughes had built up an advantage of 2.8s over Aitken and Fukuzumi, with Dennis hot on their heels. Leclerc was also getting racy as he battled Kevin Jörg for the final points paying position. The ART driver attempted a brave move around the outside of the Swiss driver but Jörg fought back to retain the place.

The fight between de Vries and Fuoco still was not over as the pair ran side by side with the Ferrari Driver Academy finally getting past the McLaren backed driver – however Fuoco tumbled down the order when his penalty was applied post race.

Hughes crossed the line to take his second victory in the GP3 series by 2.8s, fellow Brit Aitken claimed yet another podium finish with Fukuzumi managing to hold of Dennis to take the final spot on the rostrum. The points scoring places rounded off by: Palou, Tereschenko, Schothorst and Jörg.

Despite the fact the season is over the teams will remain in Abu Dhabi for a three day post-season test next week on November 30 – December 2.

Yas Marina Circuit Race 2 Results

127Jake HughesGBRDAMS 30m21.199
211Jack AitkenGBRArden International30m24.024
32Nirei FukuzumiJPNART Grand Prix30m28.390
49Jake DennisGBRArden International30m28.670
522Alex PalouESPCampos Racing30m29.946
624Konstantin TereschenkoRUSCampos Racing30m29.973
723Steijn SchothorstNEDCampos Racing30m30.357
828Kevin Jörg SUIDAMS 30m34.045
91Charles Leclerc MONART Grand Prix30m35.234
107Giuliano AlesiFRATrident 30m37.108
114Nyck de VriesNEDART Grand Prix30m38.838
1214Matthew Parry GBRKoiranen GP30m41.145
1318Akash NandyMASJenzer Motorsport30m44.666
1420Arjun Maini INDJenzer Motorsport30m42.124
1526Santino FerrucciUSADAMS 30m42.352
1616Matevos IsaakyanRUSKoiranen GP30m44.284
175Antonio FuocoITATrident 30m44.465
188Sandy StuvikTHATrident 30m45.705
196Artur Janosz POLTrident 30m56.654
2019Alessio LorandiITAJenzer Motorsport31m25.607
213Alexander Albon THAART Grand PrixDNF
2210Tatiana CalderonCOLArden InternationalDNF