F3: Collet takes Sprint win at Spa as championship contenders hit trouble
A stellar opening lap around Spa-Francorchamps gave Caio Collet Sprint Race victory for Van Amersfoort Racing, as the Brazilian took the win from P4 on the grid.
Capitalising on the baulked momentum of Paul Aron out of La Source, he passed the PREMA Racing driver on the run to Eau Rouge before clearing Hugh Barter into the Les Combes chicane. He then pulled off an audacious overtake on Taylor Barnard around the outside of Blanchimont to take the race lead and eventual win.
Barnard secured a maiden podium in Formula 3, finishing second to Collet, with Aron rounding out the podium in third.
There were multiple Safety Car interventions for several incidents during the 12 laps, with championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto and title rival Josep Maria Marti failing to finish.
Oops! Error retrieving Twitter post
Marti was out in the early stages after contact with Gabriele Mini and then Ido Cohen that put the Campos Racing driver on the sidelines.
With just a handful of laps to go, Bortoleto suffered his first retirement of the 2023 campaign after contact with Dino Beganovic left him with race-ending damage.
The Brazilian still has the chance to clinch the 2023 F3 drivers’ championship on Sunday, requiring a 40-point advantage after the chequered flag to settle things.
Marti will start from pole position in the Feature Race, with Bortoleto going from 15th position after his worst qualifying result of the campaign.
For an in-depth report of the Sprint Race, visit the official Formula 3 website.