GP3

Charlie Eustice  |    |  2 October 2016

Jake Dennis takes second race win while Charles Leclerc increases championship lead


GP3 Media

Jake Dennis took his second GP3 victory for Arden in Sunday's Malaysia sprint race, while series points leader Charles Leclerc put himself on the precipice of the title behind in fifth place.

Starting in third, Dennis held a tight line at the first corner as poleman Antonio Fuoco and second-placed starter Nirei Fukuzumi locked up, allowing Dennis to take the lead.

Fuoco did nothing to help his cause by bouncing over kerbs at the first corner, and quickly dropped back, coming within the reach of title rival Charles Leclerc by lap 5.

Leclerc, who had started sixth, tried a daring move around the outside of the Trident driver through sweeping Turns 5 and 6, and though unsuccessful, he got the move done at the more conventional overtaking spot of Turn 1 at the start of Lap 6.

After a promising start, Fuoco struggled with pace throughout the race, locking up several times. Though non-mandatory in GP3, the Italian came in for a pit stop on Lap 9, but eventually retired.

Alexander Albon's feature race win on Saturday meant he started down in eighth place, and he found himself on the periphery of the points all race, scrapping with Steijn Schothorst and GP3 new boy Alessio Lorandi over the course of the 14 laps.

The positions swapped several times, but with just two laps to go, Albon had the final say in the matter, passing Schothorst for eigith position at the newly re-profiled final corner, despite a little bit of contact.

At the front, Dennis took victory over Fukuzimi (who notched his best-ever GP3 finishing position) by three-and-a-half seconds, with the winner's Arden team mate Jack Aitken in third making it a double podium for the British outfit.

Matthew Parry had a quiet race to fourth place, chased all the way to the line by Leclerc, who was in turn closely followed by ART team mate Nyck de Vries, with whom he made contact in Saturday's feature race.

Arjun Maini finished seventh, with Albon closing out the points in eighth ensuring that all four ART cars scored. Debutant Lorandi again finished just one place outside the points in ninth, with Schothorst completing the top 10.

Haas development driver Santino Ferrucci nearly missed the start with an electrical fault in his DAMS car, and though the team did brilliantly to get him out to the pit lane for the start of the race, he retired after five laps.

Leclerc's fifth place means he stretches his lead over Albon to 29 points, with Fuoco now a very very distant hope in third, some 45 points down on the Monegasque.

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