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GP3: Bernstorff beats Ocon in thrilling Race 1

NEWS STORY
05/09/2015

Arden International's Emil Bernstorff delivered the race of his life with a stunning win today. From fifth on the grid, the Brit raced wheel to wheel with his rivals from start to finish. He overtook ART Grand Prix's and Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon for the win on the penultimate lap. It was a great day for the Arden International team with Kevin Ceccon finishing third on home soil.

Despite the threat of storms, the weather stayed kind for the opening race of the sixth round of the 2015 GP3 Series. Series leader and Trident star Luca Ghiotto had pole position after lapping a whole second quicker than Ocon. But the happy ending was not on the cards: Ghiotto stalled at the start and retired in the pitlane; in a race he was so desperate to win in front of his home fans.

Luckily the field avoided the stricken Trident machine on the front row and it was Ocon who took the lead ahead of Ceccon and Matthew Parry (Koiranen GP). The Brit passed Ceccon on the opening lap with Marvin Kirchhöfer and Emil Bernstorff embroiled in a mammoth battle for fourth. The German was briefly airborne after running high on the kerbs after slight contact with Ceccon, but he was able to continue. Carlin and Ferrari Academy driver Antonio Fuoco was not so fortunate after a spin sent him into the barrier and the Italian had to retire at his home race.

At this point, Ocon held a half second margin over Parry, whilst Kirchhöfer and Bernstorff were racing side-by-side and continuously re-passing each other for around the first eight laps. On lap 9, Bernstorff made the job stick on the German and moved into fourth pace.

At the midway point, Parry began to close down the gap to race leader Ocon and it looked like the Brit may make a move for P1. Ceccon in third had his mirrors full of Bernstorff and one lap later, the Brit was through on his teammate. Bernstorff was on a mission and next on his list was Parry. On lap 17, Bernstorff passed his fellow compatriot into turn one and set after race leader Ocon.

There were battles galore as Ceccon tried to follow his teammate through by passing Parry but over-cooked it and ran wide, losing time. Meanwhile, up front, Bernstorff had clawed away at Ocon's lead and he went for the overtake into turn one. It didn't work out with the Arden International driver missing the apex of Turn 2.

Not to be deterred, Bernstorff put his head down and again focused on catching the Frenchman. In an enthralling finish, the Brit passed the ART Grand Prix star on the penultimate lap in a superbly brave move around the outside.

The action wasn't over yet with Ceccon back on the tail of Parry. On the final lap, the Italian overtook the Koiranen GP rookie for the final rostrum place on offer. At the chequered flag, Bernstorff recorded his third career GP3 win, ahead of Ocon, Ceccon, Parry, Kirchhöfer, Jimmy Eriksson (Koiranen GP), Matheo Tuscher (Jenzer Motorsport) and Alex Palou. The Status Grand Prix pair of Alex Fontana and Seb Morris completed the points scoring positions.

Following Ghiotto's non-score today, the title battle has closed up considerably. The Trident driver now holds a 14 point lead over Ocon with Bernstorff moving into third, displacing Kirchhöfer. ART Grand Prix continues to sit pretty at the top of the Teams' Standings, with Arden International rising to second and Trident dropping to third.

GP2 Media Office

1. Emil Bernstorff Arden International
2. Esteban Ocon ART Grand Prix
3. Kevin Ceccon Arden International
4. Matthew Parry Koiranen GP
5. Marvin Kirchhöfer ART Grand Prix
6. Jimmy Eriksson Koiranen GP
7. Matheo Tuscher Jenzer Motorsport
8. Alex Palou Campos Racing
9. Alex Fontana Status Grand Prix
10. Seb Morris Status Grand Prix
11. Ralph Boschung Jenzer Motorsport
12. Mitchell Gilbert Carlin
13. Sandy Stuvik Status Grand Prix
14. Brandon Maisano Campos Racing
15. Zaid Ashkanani Campos Racing
16. Amaury Bonduel Trident
17. Aleksander Bosak Arden International
18. Artur Janosz Trident

Fastest Lap : Emil Bernstorff (Arden International) : 1 :39.935 on lap 13

Not Classified

Pal Varhaug Jenzer Motorsport
Antonio Fuoco Carlin
Luca Ghiotto Trident

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