BRILLIANT DRIVE FROM GHIOTTO TO EXTEND SERIES’ LEAD
Trident’s Luca Ghiotto records third win of the season at Spa-Francorchamps
Was this the drive of a future champion? Trident’s Luca Ghiotto produced a stunning win today at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. He did it the hard way by passing his title rivals from fourth on the grid to pocket a very-well deserved victory. ART Grand Prix’s and Mercedes backed Esteban Ocon also drove a great race to finish second with his teammate Alfonso Celis. Jr collecting his debut podium in third.
Arden International’s Aleksander Bosak started the race from reverse pole. The Polish driver was slow away at the start with Campos Racing’s Alex Palou taking full advantage to go straight into the lead.
All eyes were on the battle between the trio of ART Grand Prix cars as they raced wheel to wheel at the start. Ocon, from sixth on the grid first got the better of Ghiotto and Marvin Kirchhöfer and then made the move stick on Celis. Jr. The Frenchman looked fired up going from sixth to second on the opening lap and was determined to make up for losing yesterday’s win after a time penalty.
Race 1 winner Emil Bernstorff was one of the first retirements as he came into the pitlane for a premature end to his weekend. On lap 3, Bosak who had dropped a handful of places at the start, ran wide with a puncture and ended his race in the barrier. A loose wheel from his Arden International car made contact with the front left of Matthew Parry’s Koiranen GP car, resulting in damage to his machine. Parry was out of the race with both drivers able to climb out of the car.
As a result of this, the safety car was deployed and once the action resumed, Series leader Ghiotto looked on a mission: The Italian soon picked off Celis. Jr for third after a super re-start, but there was more action to come after an incident between Kirchhöfer and Carlin and Ferrari Academy Driver Antonio Fuoco. The German had tried to pass the Italian on the inside and contact was made, Fuoco then spun in front of the remainder of the field and was collected again by the ART Grand Prix star who was unable to avoid him. Unfortunately for the dicing duo their race was over with both drivers ok.
The safety car was deployed due to the debris on track and once the track was clear, Ghiotto made his next bold move, this time on his nearest title rival, Ocon for second place. The Italian knew what he had to do as he began to hunt down race leader Palou. He reeled the Spaniard in one lap later to snatch the lead and pulled a small deficit.
Ocon didn’t want to let his main competitor out of his sight and he quickly got past Palou to move back into second place. The Campos Racing driver soon fell into the clutches of Celis, Jr who passed the rookie for the final podium place on offer on the penultimate lap.
As the chequered flag was waved, Ghiotto claimed victory by a mere 0.8s from Ocon, with Celis. Jr enjoying his maiden podium success. Jenzer Motorsport’s Matheo Tuscher posted his best result of the campaign with fourth after passing Palou on the final lap, with Alex Fontana (Status Grand Prix), Artur Janosz (Trident) and Ralph Boschung completing the top eight.
Ghiotto has now extended his lead in the Drivers’ Standings to 28 points after pocketing a further two points for fastest lap. Ocon is second on 126 with his teammate Kirchhöfer on 113. In the Teams’ Standings, ART Grand Prix holds top spot on 258, Trident are second with 175 and Arden International are third on 158.