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Belgium GP3: Maini finishes fourth, sixth at Spa

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Belgium GP3: Maini finishes fourth, sixth at Spa
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Aug 27, 2017, 9:53 AM

Indian driver Arjun Maini narrowly missed out on a podium slot in the GP3 Series race at Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps.

Arjun Maini, Jenzer Motorsport
Steijn Schothorst, Campos Racing, Arjun Maini, Jenzer Motorsport and Nyck De Vries, ART Grand Prix
Arjun Maini, Three Bond with T-Sport Dallara Tomei
Arjun Maini, Jenzer Motorsport leads Konstantin Tereschenko, Campos Racing
Arjun Maini, Jenzer Motorsport

The Jenzer Motorsport driver finished fourth in the first race on Saturday and sixth in the second race on Sunday.

Maini qualified third on the grid and lost one place after the second lap, with Jack Aitken overtaking the Indian.

Then, the virtual safety car was out following an incident down the order.

When the VSC was out, Maini was fourth and 4.7s behind race leader Nirei Fukuzumi of ART Grand Prix after three laps.

Third-placed Aitken was threatening George Russell (ART Grand Prix) and Maini had managed to reduce the gap to 3.4s between himself and third-placed Fukuzumi.

Meanwhile, Maini was getting a slight challenge from Boccolacci, with the latter just 0.5s behind.

At the top, the order had changed to Russell, Aitken and Fukuzumi. Maini was now 5.1s seconds behind the leader and just 1.4 behind Fukuzumi after 8 laps.

Though Maini was putting in competitive times, it was proving to be difficult to get to the third position.

Subsequently, Maini fell back to about 2.8s and began to drop down further even as Fukuzumi was putting in good sector times.

Maini was not able to make any inroads as the ART pair stuck to their second and third places. The Indian was within one second of a podium spot but a move did not materialise despite his best efforts. He finished in fourth place and picked up 12 points.

In the second race, with the reverse grid kicking in, Maini started fifth on the grid.

But, in the second lap, Niko Kari overtook Maini and moved up one place. Within two laps, Maini had lost two places to the seventh spot.

However, with Aitken's car suffering a puncture, Maini was able to move back to sixth place. Meanwhile, Alesi was leaidng the race.

Though there was a bit of shuffling in front of him, Maini could not make any progress on places.

Meanwhile, on lap 9, Fukuzumi overtook Maini and took the sixth place. So, Maini lost one place to end up seventh.

From then, it did not change much as Maini ended up remaining seventh. However, with Kari getting a 5s penalty, Maini eventually moved up to sixth and earned four points. 

Maini is now on 53 points, one behind Boccolacci.

Kari received a five second penalty and Maini was promoted to the sixth place. 

 
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How Indians performed over the weekend (August 25-27)

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Series FIA F3
Author Vivek Phadnis