GP3 Austria: Ghiotto claims maiden win

Luca Ghiotto won the third round of the GP3 Series at Red Bull Ring on Saturday, but another Italian – Antonio Fuoco – was the star of the race with a charging drive from eighth to second.

GP3 Austria: Ghiotto claims maiden win
Luca Ghiotto, Trident
Antonio Fuoco, Carlin
Esteban Ocon, ART Grand Prix
Marvin Kirchhofer, ART Grand Prix
Emil Bernstorff, Arden International

From pole position, Ghiotto – his third series pole in four attempts – lost his advantage to Ocon away from the startline, the two almost colliding as Ghiotto swerved across the track in a vain attempt to stay ahead.

There was a safety car immediately, as two stallers – Alex Palou from third and 10th-placed qualifier Mitch Gilbert – caused chaos. Kevin Ceccon ploughed into the back of Gilbert, and his wrecked car collected tailender Samin Gomez.

Ocon appeared to have nailed the restart, but then overshot Turn 1, forcing him to defend into Turn 2. Ghiotto got alongside into Turn 3, where Ocon locked-up massively.

They entered Turn 1 side by side on the following lap, with Ghiotto grabbing the lead before Turn 2.

Ghiotto left Ocon for dead, who now had his ART teammate Marvin Kirchhofer on his tail. Emil Bernstorff ran fourth ahead of Sandy Stuvik and Matt Parry.

Ghiotto pulled away up front, as Ocon held a steady second. Parry tumbled backwards to ninth, but the driver moving forwards was Ferrari protege Fuoco.

From eighth on the grid, Fuoco – who will test a Ferrari F1 car later this week here – passed Stuvik for fifth on lap 15 and then drove around the outside of Bernstorff at Turn 2 a lap later.

Kirchhofer gifted Fuoco third place by running wide at the penultimate corner, and he completed his charge with a decisive move on championship leader Ocon to grab second. 

Bernstorff passed Kirchhofer for fourth but couldn't find a way past Bernstorff, while Jann Mardenborough also charged towards the front, passing Stuvik for sixth and then Kirchhofer for fifth.

But nobody could hold a candle to Ghiotto, who won by a massive 11.9s.

Race results:

Pos Driver Team Time/Gap
Luca Ghiotto Trident 38m25.156
Antonio Fuoco Carlin 11.958
Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix 12.641
Emil Bernstorff Arden International 13.437
Jann Mardenborough Carlin 19.335
Marvin Kirchhofer ART Grand Prix 19.709
Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix 28.749
Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport 29.462
Oscar Tunjo Trident 33.071
10  Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix 34.521
11  Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport 36.069
12  Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport 39.669
13  Matt Parry Koiranen GP 40.589
14  Alex Palou Campos Racing 42.534
15  Alfonso Celis ART Grand Prix 42.934
16  Alex Bosak Arden International 43.331
17  Adderly Fong Koiranen GP 43.848
18  Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing 44.126
19  Seb Morris Status Grand Prix 48.713
20  Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP 1 lap
21  Artur Janosz Trident 2 laps
Ret  Samin Gomez Campos Racing  
Ret  Mitchell Gilbert Carlin  
Ret  Kevin Ceccon Arden International  
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Austria GP3: Ghiotto beats Ocon to pole
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