Jake Hughes withstood late race pressure from Lando Norris to secure his first victory of the 2017 FIA European Formula 3 Championship season on Sunday morning as drivers finally got the opportunity to race on a dry Nurburgring track.
Both qualifying sessions and Saturday’s opening race were held in wet conditions, but despite it being cold and overcast on Sunday, the track was dry as the lights went out, and Hitech Grand Prix driver Hughes made the most of his pole position to lead into turn one.
Norris remained in third but the Carlin driver found a way ahead of Callum Ilott heading into turn two on the third lap, and ran around three seconds behind Hughes until a late push saw him end up right on his tail, but he could not get close enough to make a genuine attempt at an overtake, with him only making a last corner feint to try and force a mistake from the race leader.
That mistake was not forthcoming, and Hughes held on for his and Hitech’s first win of the season by 0.539 seconds, while Ilott made it a British driver one-two-three for Prema Powerteam, albeit 12.767 seconds off the pace.
Ilott was shadowed throughout the race by Hitech Grand Prix’s Honda-protégé Tadasuke Makino, who after losing fourth place in race one thanks to a penalty, drove superbly to take the same place this time around.
Ralf Aron made a great pass early on into the final chicane on Ferdinand Habsburg for what was then sixth position, and the Hitech Grand Prix driver then found himself promoted into fifth when Prema Powerteam’s Guan Yu Zhou spun after running across the still-wet Astroturf between turns two and three whilst running in that fifth position.
Aron and Habsburg remained in fifth and sixth until the chequered flag, while Joey Mawson added a seventh place finish to his podium from race one for Van Amersfoort Racing, ahead of team-mate Harrison Newey, while Joel Eriksson and Jehan Daruvala completed the points scorers.
There was more disappointment though for Maximilian Günther, who continues to see his championship ambitions slide away, with his twelfth place finish meaning the Prema Powerteam driver now sits fifty-four points behind Norris with seven races of the season remaining.
Nurburgring Race 2 Result
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