Jack Doohan set up on a defiant defensive show in a rain hampered Plod 3 at Spa, preserving off Victor Martins and Alex Smolyar to change into the first System 3 driver to take twice in a single spherical alongside with his third victory of the season.
The combat between Doohan and Martins will continue to bubble away even after the chequered flag, with the Frenchman at one point passing the Trident driver off the observe. Martins argued that he’d been forced huge, nonetheless was as soon as ordered at hand reduction the explain.
Retaking the lead, Doohan didn’t assemble the the same mistake twice, preserving off Martins for the leisure of the speed and clinching a vital victory for his title yell. The Australian is now lawful 25 facets off Dennis Hauger, who had entered the weekend with a 63-point advantage.
After Qualifying reduction in 14th, Hauger’s purpose was as soon as wound limitation, and the PREMA Made up six areas to eighth, only slowed down by some dogged defending from Doohan’s Trident teammate, David Schumacher, who ended up in ninth ahead of Arthur Leclerc.
Alex Smolyar was as soon as out of the combat for first nonetheless coolly clinched his third podium of the season, and first since Le Castellet. Caio Collet was as soon as unable to converse him in fourth, ending in entrance of Clement Novalak, Frederik Vesti and Logan Sargeant.
AS IT HAPPENED
Additional downpour meant that the realm started behind the Security Automobile for the 2nd time this weekend, with Bert Mylander at closing peeling the Mercedes SC into the pitlane for a rolling originate with 14 laps to trail.
Ranging from pole for the 2nd time in as many races, Doohan slowed the realm enticing down on the first straight ahead of launching into Flip 1, with Martins in tow. The MP driver was as soon as locked into Doohan’s slipstream nonetheless hampered by the spray from the reduction of his Trident.
With his vital title rival on the entrance, Championship leader Hauger was as soon as making an try to minimise the wound to his advantage after a refined Qualifying session. The PREMA Racing driver was as soon as beginning down in 14th nonetheless managed to soar two spots internal of the outlet lap.
Jak Crawford and Roman Stanek adopted subsequent for Hauger because the PREMA locked in a facets’ space. Schumacher and Johnathan Hoggard had been busy combating for ninth ahead of him, nonetheless Hauger set up a live to that, deciding on off Hoggard and inserting himself between the pair.
With 10 laps to trail, Martins hadn’t relented in his skedaddle of the speed lead, continuing to defend Doohan internal DRS differ. The MP made a intrepid switch at Flip 9, running huge and scampering previous the Trident, nonetheless with all four wheels off the tarmac, the Frenchman was as soon as told at hand the distance reduction.
Meanwhile, Doohan’s teammate, Schumacher, had been doing a licensed job of preserving his title rival at bay in eighth, nonetheless a stagger opened the door for Hauger and the PREMA leapt ahead.
Leclerc had recovered from a refined originate up to the speed to trail Crawford and Stanek for 11th. The Monegasque was as soon as then proficient the chance to be half of the reduction of the stop 10 after a huge moment for Hoggard, who had long gone skidding thru the gravel and dropped to 16th.
Eventually, Martins was as soon as forced to relent in his combat with Doohan and keep his tyres, the Trident weathering the storm to take a 2nd absorb as many races. Crossing the motorway with a 1.6s gap, Martins settled for 2nd nonetheless did ranking the fastest lap.
Alex Smolyar nonetheless a podium ahead of Caio Collet and Clement Novalak. Frederik Vesti had dashed previous Logan Sargeant for sixth with two laps to trail. Hauger had risen six areas to upward push up to eighth, minimising the facets loss to Doohan. Schumacher and Leclerc accomplished the stop 10.
KEY QUOTE – JACK DOOHAN (TRIDENT)
“I’m very fully pleased, though I didn’t just like the drag that I’d love to like had. We didn’t just like the the same drag as the day prior to this, nonetheless within the stop, we obtained the job done and I tailored as effectively as I will like.
“Victor had an edifying speed and had very right drag. He was as soon as no doubt quicker than I was as soon as, nonetheless fortunately, I was as soon as ready to design again within the few areas that I was as soon as quicker and did ample to defend the gap. I’m very fully pleased and off to Zandvoort now.
“The gap to Dennis (Hauger) is unquestionably critical greater than 63, nonetheless there are two rounds to trail, and my purpose is to be in entrance of him. We will defend pushing as exhausting as we can.”
THE CHAMPIONSHIP VIEW
Hauger retains his Championship lead nonetheless is now lawful 25 facets ahead of Doohan, with Vesti in third on 101 facets. Martins is fourth with 96 and Smolyar fifth with 92.
PREMA Racing are first within the Teams’ Championship with 290 facets, ahead of Trident on 274. ART Gargantuan Prix are third with 202, in entrance of MP Motorsport with 159.