GP3 Series

Lorandi Wins as Russell Crowned 2017 GP3 Series Champion

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Credit: Zak Mauger/GP3 Series Media Service.

Starting from reverse grid pole position Alessio Lorandi claimed his maiden victory in the GP3 Series in Jerez.

However, all eyes were on George Russell who capitalised on the opportunities presented to him to be crowned 2017 GP3 champion.

At the start Lorandi easily led Dorian Boccolacci and Niko Kari into Turn 1, running in tandem before the Italian managed to start eke out an advantage to his rivals.

Although only a small advantage it was enough to allow Lorandi to control the race at his pace.

Dan Ticktum and the lead ART Grand Prix machine of Anthoine Hubert started to close after the Briton had gotten the move done on the Frenchman.

Having started behind Jack Aitken, Russell was keen to quickly get ahead of his nearest title rival and managed to do so after the Renault junior driver ran wide which allowed Feature Race winner Nirei Fukuzumi through as well.

Needing to leave Jerez with a 48 point advantage over Aitken, Russell fell just short with the bonus points for fastest lap so needed Giuliano Alesi behind Aitken to do him a favour.

Looking as though the title fight was going to roll over to the finale in Abu Dhabi, Russell was gifted with those extra points he needed.

Ahead, Ticktum who had been looking quick all weekend was eyeing his maiden GP3 podium finish got on the inside of Kari and as they ran into Turn 4 there was not enough room for two cars and the Briton ended up in the gravel and had to retire from the race.

The safety car was deployed for the stricken DAMS and the change of positions meant Russell now held a 50 point advantage over Aitken in the championship and had enough to claim the title.

Racing resumed for a final lap dash to the finish with Lorandi comfortably taking the flag ahead of Boccolacci and Kari. Hubert headed the quartet of ARTs with Alesi in eighth.

However, following the race Kari was handed a 10 second time penalty as a result of the collision with Ticktum and due to the bunched up nature of the cars this meant he falls to 19th place.

Hubert has been promoted to the podium and Tatiana Calderon is in possession of the final points paying position in eighth.

Once again in the GP3 Series it is the clean sweep for ART, who head to the final round of the season having already clinched both titles on offer.

The GP3 circus heads to Abu Dhabi on 24-26 November.

2017 GP3 Series Sprint Race Results – Jerez

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