Drama-filled Race One at Spa

F3 Cup’s first race of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps took place under overcast skies...

F3 Cup's first race of the weekend at Spa-Francorchamps took place under overcast skies, and although the race had been declared wet to allow drivers to opt for the Pirelli wet tyres, all hedged their bets on the slick option as a dry line was slowly emerging around the circuit.

Unusually for the championship, the races this weekend have rolling starts, and as the pack headed to La Source on the first lap, the drivers closed up which forced James Heffernan into a spin. Although he recovered the car, a large number of the chasing Monoposto cars had passed already and he found himself towards the back of the field.

Further ahead, Shane Kelly and Daryl Jones made wheel-to-wheel contact as they approached Les Combes, forcing both drivers wide on to the run-off area. Again both recovered, but would be forced to return to the pits to repair damage at the end of the lap before continuing.

At the front, a battle for the lead developed between Jacopo Sebastiani and Robbie Watts, as the Omicron driver had capitalised on the first lap dramas to nab the lead from Watts. As they began to approach the back markers after a few laps, Watts closed in and looked for every opportunity to get past; at one point the pair were side-by-side through the infamous Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex! Watts would later find himself running wide at T11 but rejoined losing nothing but time as behind him Wiltshire, Line and Bishop were too far away to be a threat.

Unfortunately the race was brought to a premature halt five minutes before the end as a Monoposto Formula Ford suffered a heavy impact with the barriers along the Kemmel Straight. The driver was able to escape from the car unaided but a red flag had to be called as car and debris were spread across the track.

The result was declared with Sebastiani as winner (his first in F3 Cup), with Watts and Wiltshire completing the podium. The second race of the weekend takes place tomorrow (Sunday 26 June) at 11:45am CEST (10:45am BST).

F3 Cup, Spa-Francorchamps Race One (25 June 2016)

  1. Jacopo Sebastiani - Dallara F311 7 laps
  2. Robbie Watts - Dallara F308 +3.202
  3. Stuart Wiltshire - Dallara F308 +5.849
  4. George Line - Dallara F308 +14.285
  5. Tony Bishop - Dallara F310 +21.301
  6. James Heffernan - Dallara F308 +32.088
  7. Malcolm Scott - Dallara F306 +38.888
  8. Tim Buckley - Dallara F304 +1.04.057
  9. Daryl Jones - Dallara F308 +2:07.353
  10. Shane Kelly - Dallara F308 +1 lap