Carlin driver Sacha Fenestraz took the honours in his home country to win the second European F3 Championship race around Circuit de Pau-Ville. The Renault Sport Academy driver was made to work for the victory, but kept the lead from start to finish.
He moves to the top of the championship after a poor result for many of the stars of race one, with the Pau Grand Prix later this afternoon, where he starts seventh.
Alex Palou was on the front row after the wet qualifying from last night, but with Group B being quicker, Fenestraz had the honour of being on pole, a position he kept into the first corner. A poor start from Palou had allowed Enaam Ahmed to challenge the Frenchman into the first corner, but was hung out to dry on the outside, dropping to sixth.
This meant at the end of the opening lap, Fenestraz was now holding off the fast starting Fabio Scherer, the Swiss driver hounding the leader for the opening laps. Palou meanwhile, had settled back into third with Marcus Armstrong inheriting fourth.
The first safety car was called as Devlin DeFrancesco tangled with Artem Petrov at Pont Oscar. During the parade, Dan Ticktum‘s headrest flew off, forcing the Brit to pit from a points position.
Sadly for Scherer, he ran wide at the Foch Chicane, clouting the barrier and spinning across the track. This gave Fenestraz a comfortable gap and eventual victory around the Pau streets, also taking rookie honours.
Second place would be go to Palou, who failed to close in on the leader after Scherer’s incident, with Armstrong rounding out the podium.
In fourth was Ben Hingeley. The Hitech GP driver had made a confident start and held off team-mate Ahmed and Jehan Daravula in the latter stages of the race, despite falling back from Armstrong.
Seventh would go the way of Julian Hanses in the Ma-Con Volkswagon. He held off a seven-car train which included Ralf Aron and Robert Schwartzman. In tenth would be Mick Schumacher picking up his first point of the year.
Ahmed will be on pole for the Pau Grand Prix.