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Jones takes lights-to-flag win in Spa opener

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: British F3 International Series

Photo: British F3 International Series

Emirati racer Ed Jones triumphed on his return to Formula 3 racing, winning the first race of the British F3 round at Spa.

The F3 Open champion made a smooth getaway from pole and stayed in control for the entirety of the 30-minute race.

His teammate Sean Gelael – the only other driver in the field driving a newer-spec F312 – dropped behind second row starters Roberto Merhi and John Bryant-Meisner off the line.

The safety car came out on the opening lap, triggered by an off for Scotsman Sam MacLeod, and, when it was back in on lap three, Gelael took little time to charge back through to second place.

The Malaysian stayed within three seconds of Jones in the final minutes of the race but didn’t manage to make up ground and had to settle for second.

Merhi finished as the highest-placed points-eligible driver in third, leading Bryant-Meisner and Motopark duo of Indy Dontje and Nabil Jeffri.

Andy Chang was the top series regular in seventh, leading Fortec’s top man Matt Rao, Carlin’s Peter Li Zhi Cong and debutant Nikita Zlobin.

Martin Cao ran in sixth early on in the race, but picked up a drive-through penalty for a violation of the start procedure and was demoted to last. He overtook Kang Ling and Camren Kaminsky in the final minutes of the race to claim 11th overall.

Race results
Pos. Driver Team Time/Gap
1 Ed Jones Carlin 12 laps in 30:27.854
2 Sean Gelael Carlin +2.473
3 Roberto Merhi Double R Racing +5.451
4 John Bryant-Meisner Performance Racing +10.050
5 Indy Dontje Motopark +21.085
6 Nabil Jeffri Motopark +21.952
7 Andy Chang Double R Racing +25.702
8 Matt Rao Fortec Motorsport +29.516
9 Li Zhi Cong Carlin +32.753
10 Nikita Zlobin ADM Motorsport +38.468
11 Martin Cao Fortec Motorsport +38.980
12 Camren Kaminsky Double R Racing +39.642
13 Kang Ling ADM Motorsport +45.212
Not classified
Sam MacLeod Carlin +12 laps