Arden International’s Jake Dennis claims second win of the season
From third on the grid, Jake Dennis took full advantage of the dice in front between Antonio Fuoco and ART Grand Prix’s Nirei Fukuzumi as the pair went into T1 and braked late; the Briton dived down the inside into the lead. The Arden International driver remained composed to march off into the distance to win by over 3s and pocket his second victory of the 2016 GP3 Series season. Honda’s Fukuzumi was happy to claim his second rostrum of the campaign with Jack Aitken completing the podium.
Despite the clouds, the temperatures were higher than yesterday for the 14 lap race. Scuderia Ferrari Driver Academy’s Fuoco maintained the lead from reverse pole with Fukuzumi going wheel to wheel with the Italian in T1. As the pair out-braked themselves and ran wide, Dennis seized the opportunity to sneak down the outside and head into the lead. In a frenetic opening lap, Fuoco ran wide and lost two positions after running over one of the kerbs.
It was tight between title rivals Charles Leclerc and Alexander Albon at the start, as the ART GP duo ran side-by-side with the Thai racer taking to the grass. Albon dropped down to P11 while the Monegasque was P7. On lap 2, Aitken passed Fuoco for third place as Dennis began to increase his margin at the front to over 1.6s.
Leclerc and Fuoco were involved in a spectacular fight for fifth, with the Series leader getting the job done on his fellow Ferrari protégé, eager to secure as many points as possible in the battle for the GP3 crown. Several laps later, the Italian pitted for new tyres but eventually he retired.
At the midway point, Aitken began to put the pressure on Fukuzumi for second, while Leclerc slowly began to reel in Koiranen GP’s Matthew Parry in fourth. Albon was desperate to fight back and pick up some points in the title battle; he passed Jenzer Motorsport’s Alessio Lorandi for ninth on lap ten and several laps later overtook Campos Racing’s Steijn Schothorst for the final point on offer.
Dennis had increased his margin at the front to over 3s in the final few laps and the Briton was happy to clock his second win of the season which moved him up to fourth in the drivers’ standings. Fukuzumi held on to second, with Aitken in third. Parry withstood the pressure from Series leader Leclerc for fourth; Nyck De Vries, Arjun Maini and Albon rounded out the top eight points positions.
GP3 is back in action next month on November 25-26-27 for the final round of the season when the Series heads to the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit for Abu Dhabi. It will be even more thrilling as the title battle goes to the wire with Leclerc in pole position on 202 points, while Albon and Fuoco are on 173 and 157 respectively.
ART Grand Prix (already crowned Team Champions) sit on 539 points and after a double podium finish, Arden International have pulled away further from Trident and now have 240 points compared to their 170.
Sepang – Race 2
Jake Dennis
Arden International
Nirei Fukuzumi
ART Grand Prix
Jack Aitken
Arden International
Matthew Parry
Koiranen GP
Charles Leclerc
ART Grand Prix
Nyck de Vries
ART Grand Prix
Arjun Maini
Jenzer Motorsport
Alexander Albon
ART Grand Prix
Alessio Lorandi
Jenzer Motorsport
Steijn Schothorst
Campos Racing
Kevin Jorg
Jake Hughes
Giuliano Alesi
Matevos Isaakyan
Koiranen GP
Tatiana Calderon
Arden International
Artur Janosz
Konstantin Tereschenko
Campos Racing
Akash Nandy
Jenzer Motorsport
Alex Palou
Campos Racing
Sandy Stuvik
Not Classified
Antonio Fuoco
Santino Ferrucci
Fastest Lap : Antonio Fuoco (Trident) 1 :51.520 on lap 10