Campos Racing‘s Leonardo Pulcini claimed his second GP3 Series victory of the year at the Yas Marina Circuit.
The Italian battled with Nikita Mazepin at the start, but Pulcini took the advantage and powered to the flag.
However, all eyes were on Anthoine Hubert in third as he claimed the final GP3 Series Drivers’ Championship.
Completing the podium in second was David Beckmann.
At the start, poleman Nikita Mazepin was not able to match the start of Pulcini with the Russian cutting across to cover the challenge.
From third, Hubert made a strong start but stayed behind the leading pair ahead of Callum Ilott who mugged ART Grand Prix team-mate Jake Hughes at the first corner.
Behind was Beckmann and Ryan Tveter.
Wanting to take the advantage, Pulcini outdragged Mazepin on the long back straight into the lead.
Beckmann copied the move on Hughes for fifth.
Out front, Mazepin was not going to let Pulcini get away as he needed the victory to keep his title hopes alive.
He pushed Pulcini before outbraking for the lead at the marina on lap 4, but he ran wide at the hotel complex the next lap to allow the Italian back through.
On lap 6, Mazepin tried a move once again but Pulcini was wise to it. The ART-man went too deep and ran off but in his hurry to rejoin the track the missed the bollard which needed to go around and was handed a ten second penalty.
This ultimately ended his chance of challenging for the title.
Further back, there was more action to be had, Beckmann passed Ilott for fourth on lap 9.
Giuliano Alesi was starting his progress through the field by passing team-mate Tveter.
Hughes got Ilott back for the move he done at the start of the race to take fifth.
Beckmann was on a charge and found himself on the rear of Hubert in the closing stages.
Hubert had no reason to fight too hard for P3 as it would be his anyway with Mazepin’s penalty.
Pulcini took the flag by over eight and a half second. Mazepin crossed the line in second which became fifth with his penalty.
So Beckmann second, with Hubert third to be crowned the 2018 GP3 Champion.
Ilott managed to hold onto fourth.
Alesi was sixth, who mugged Hughes on the penultimate lap.
Juan Manuel Correa finished eighth and starts the final GP3 race from reverse grid pole tomorrow.
Simo Laaksonen and Tatiana Calderon completed the points scorers.
Jehan Daruvala, in his first GP3 race was also handed a ten second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.
The final GP3 Sprint Race gets underway at 12.10 local time tomorrow.
2018 GP3 Series Results: Yas Marina Circuit – Feature Race
|1||18||Leonardo Pulcini||ITA||Campos Racing||36m04.077|
|3||2||Anthoine Hubert||FRA||ART Grand Prix||+10.360|
|4||1||Callum Ilott||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+11.156|
|5||3*||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||ART Grand Prix||+11.481|
|7||4||Jake Hughes||GBR||ART Grand Prix||+16.729|
|8||10||Juan Manuel Correa||USA||Jenzer Motorsport||+17.110|
|9||19||Simo Laaksonen||FIN||Campos Racing||+17.512|
|10||9||Tatiana Calderon||COL||Jenzer Motorsport||+17.804|
|13||11||Jannes Fittje||DEU||Jenzer Motorsport||+21.523|
|14||22||Richard Verschoor||NED||MP Motorsport||+22.728|
|15||14||Gabriel Aubry||FRA||MP Motorsport||+24.169|
|16||15||Sacha Fenestraz||FRA||Arden International||+26.043|
|17||23||Devlin DeFrancesco||CAN||Arden International||+28.055|
|18||20||Diego Menchaca||MEX||Campos Racing||+32.591|
|19||24*||Jehan Daruvala||IND||MP Motorsport||+39.718|
|20||16||Joey Mawson||AUS||Arden International||+69.610|
*10 second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage