Jack Doohan has taken his maiden win in the third Formula 3 race of the weekend, with his race coming alive in the drying track conditions as the rain eased.
Doohan passed Dennis Hauger on Lap 15 as the Prema driver lost time, struggling to cool the wet tyres, in the drying conditions.
Pulling the move on the inside of the final corner, Hauger did not make it easy for the Australian, with the pair going wheel to wheel for much of the first sector. Although Hauger kept the pressure on, the Trident driver held on to the top podium position.
Dennis Hauger, finishing P2, had a stronger start than Pole sitter Frederik Vesti off the line in the wet conditions. The Prema driver, evidently confident, stretched out a gap to the rest of the grid by the first lap but couldn’t match the pace of Doohan on the wet tyres in the closing laps.
Caio Collet gained confidence as the track dried out, slipping passed Frederick Vesti as he struggled to cool the tyres and later Victor Martins, to take the last step on the podium in P3.
Clement Novalak had a strong start making up three positions in the opening laps as the drivers tried to find where the grip was. Novalak was in no time on the tail of Frederick Vesti as the drivers slipped around the track. However the Trident driver couldn’t match the pace of the top four as the track dried out.
Arthur Leclerc has won the second sprint race around the Paul Ricard circuit in France maintaining the lead throughout, confidently ahead of his two team mates.
It was a battle of the Prema’s for the lead in the opening laps as reverse-grid pole sitter Leclerc maintained the lead with a strong start as second placed Jak Crawford stalled on the line, sending him to the back of the grid.
Dennis Hauger took the inside line to get ahead of fellow Prema driver Olli Caldwell on the eighth lap and the two battled as Leclerc stretched out a gap of over two seconds as the race passed the half way stage.
Victor Martins, finishing P3, was able to make a move on Caldwell in the penultimate lap as the Prema struggled for grip.
Martins had an electric opening to the race, making up six places by the third lap. The Frenchman, while initially unable to close on the DRS train of the front three, maintained his tyres to slip passed Caldwell to take his second podium of the day in P3.
Jack Doohan was able to get passed Ayumu Iwasa on the first lap and was able to begin to close down on the Prema’s ahead. The Trident driver was unable to keep up with the pace of the leading three however and fell out of the DRS train to finish P5.
The battle for P6 continued in the DRS train between Clement Novalak, Ayumu Iwasa Alexander Smolyar and Calan Williams but the DRS train was unable to catch the top five.
While Novalak picked up the pace toward the end of the race Iwasa lost out in battles to finish to P9.
The final F3 race of the weekend takes place at 11:40am Local Time on Sunday.
Alex Smolyar swept passed Victor Martins on the last lap after battling from P6 on the grid. Smolyar gained pace by lap six, as the top four battled, being able to put himself in the right place to make a move for the win on the closing lap.
In a charging drive from P10, Victor Martins took P2 with his race coming alive in the closing stages, after being able to catch the train of drivers battling for the lead.
Despite Martins getting himself in the lead he was unable to keep Smolyar, with the aid of DRS, behind.
Calan Williams had a challenging opening to the race, as he was unable to hold back Logan Sargeant and Ayum Iwasa closing in behind. Willams who was also later passed by Smolyar picked up the pace and battled in the top four to finish P3.
The top four were in a race of their own as they battled for P1. Sargeant had a strong first lap getting past David Schumacher on the start despite Calan Williams staying ahead
Juan Manuel Correa held on the tail of the top four but was unable to keep up with the battle for the lead in the second half of the race to finish P6.
Ayumu Iwasa, despite showing a confident drive for much of the race, received a five second time penalty after a wide move off the track for P1 on Logan Sargeant.
Iwasa had an electric start getting up to third from through the first sector of the first lap and later getting himself up to P1 with confidence in turn 11 helping him pass Williams. But the Red Bull junior couldn’t hold on to the lead before being handed the penalty, finishing P8.