Pole winner at Circuit Paul Ricard, Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrían Vallés) scored his third win of the season, pipping Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) at the line. Will Palmer (R-ace GP) took his first ever top three finish, making it a 100% British podium. Lando Norris holds on to the lead in the general classification ahead of Harrison Scott and Max Defourny (R-ace GP) and can sew up the rookie title tomorrow.
Scott keeps his momentum going
Already a pole man before the summer break, Harrison Scott did it again this morning with a best time of 2:04.560. The Englishman led from fellow Brits Will Palmer and Lando Norris, who returned to the pits after hitting a cone. Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) and Robert Shwartzman (Josef Kaufmann Racing) made it four rookies in the top five in qualifying.
Scott holds off Norris, first podium for Palmer
While Will Palmer took the lead at the start, Harrison Scott and Lando Norris both got around him before the conclusion of lap one to then go on to pull away from their compatriot, who was under threat from sixth place starter, Max Defourny. Further back, Jehan Daruvala (Josef Kaufmann Racing) and Finlay Hutchison (JD Motorsport) dropped out.
The battle further back in the field was also on the boil with fifth place Robert Shwartzman being dogged by Sacha Fenestraz, Nikita Troitskiy (Fortec Motorsports) and Gabriel Aubry (Tech 1 Racing).The move up the order from seventeeth on the grid of Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing), was also an early race highlight.
Harrison Scott thwarted the attacks of Lando Norris to go on for the win. Will Palmer was also successful in holding off team mate Max Defourny to claim his maiden podium in the category. In the final laps, Dorian Boccolacci’s comeback drive ended in fifth place, ahead of Sacha Fenestraz and Robert Shwartzman while Nikita Troitskiy and Gabriel Aubry made contact. Ferdinand Habsburg (Fortec Motorsports) finished eighth ahead of Julien Falchero (R-ace GP) and wild-card Antoni Ptak (Cram Motorsport). Alexey Korneev (JD Motorsport) picked up the final point on offer.
Harrison Scott: “With such high temperatures, it was hard to get a good start and I was overtaken at the start. I was then able to draft Will and make the most of a mistake to retake the lead. The race was quite intense because Lando was really pressuring me. As soon as I built up a small lead, he was able to make up ground. I’m very happy to win in these conditions and hope to do it again tomorrow, although it won’t be easy: Lando doesn’t make mistakes every day!”
Lando Norris: “After having set best time in both sessions yesterday, qualifying didn’t go exactly as planned. I made a mistake on my second lap, and had to return to the pits. Nevertheless, I’m satisfied with my drive. We focused yesterday to working on race pace and it paid off. It is a good sign and I can start higher up the grid if I don’t make a mistake.”
Will Palmer: “This morning, I put in my best qualifying of the season before getting an excellent start. I was able to surprise Harrison at turn one to lead the opening seconds of the race, but I was forced to go on the outside on the marbles, which compromised the rest of the lap. Harrison and Lando were able to get away as I lost ground before I was able to catch them up in the final laps. Alas, no opportunities presented themselves!”
Provisional General Classification*
1. Lando Norris (Josef Kaufmann Racing) 177
2. Harrison Scott (AVF by Adrián Vallés) 146
3. Max Defourny (R-ace GP) 144,5
4. Dorian Boccolacci (Tech 1 Racing) 118
5. Sacha Fenestraz (Tech 1 Racing) 52,5
* Results subject to confirmation following technical and sporting verifications