Nikita Troitskiy took a surprise victory in the final FIA European Formula 3 Championship race of the weekend at Zandvoort as the front row-starting Motopark duo of Daniel Ticktum and Jüri Vips blew their opportunities of leaving the Dutch venue with a win on the very first lap.
Ticktum jumped the start to earn himself a drive-through penalty, which relegated him from the lead to the very rear of the field, while Vips fell almost to the back of the field himself after struggling to get his car off the line.
Troitskiy was immediately up to second and was able to inherit the lead when Ticktum took to the pits for his penalty, and was more than two seconds clear of the field when the race was neutralised when Julian Hanses crashed, and then curtailed as the recovery of his stricken ma-con car was hampered by the steep gravel trap that the recovery tractor could not negotiate.
It was Troitskiy’s first win in European Formula 3 and just the second win for Carlin Motorsport in 2018 to add to Sacha Fenestraz’s triumph at Pau in the opening round of the season in May.
Guan Yu Zhou secured second for Prema Theodore Racing after coming out on top of an early battle with Carlin’s Jehan Daruvala, with the leading three seemingly having a pace advantage over the fight for fourth, with that position being taken by Motopark’s Marino Sato for his best result in the category.
Sato finished ahead of team-mate Fabio Scherer, with Hitech Bullfrog GP’s Alex Palou ending up sixth ahead of Carlin’s Ferdinand Habsburg and Motopark’s Jonathan Aberdein, while Artem Petrov secured his first points of the season for Van Amersfoort Racing, with the Russian driver holding off Enaam Ahmed, who climbed into the top ten from sixteenth on the grid for Hitech.
Race one and two winner Ralf Aron could do no better than fourteenth, finishing on the tail of Prema team-mate Mick Schumacher, while championship leader Marcus Armstrong was sixteenth after starting twenty-third, finishing just behind the delayed Vips.
The race had been neutralised early by a safety car when Ben Hingeley ended his day in the turn one gravel trap, the second retirement of the weekend for the Hitech Bullfrog GP driver crashing out of race two in a clash with Ameya Vaidyanathan.
Unfortunately for Troitskiy, with the race being declared after only fourteen laps and running less than twenty-five minutes, only have points were award, the second time in 2018 that this has happened after race three at Pau.
Zandvoort Race 3 Result
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