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Race report
FIA F3 Spielberg

F3 Austria: Tsolov holds off Stenshorne for second win of the season

Nikola Tsolov became the second two-time winner of the Formula 3 season with victory in the Austrian sprint race

Nikola Tsolov, ART Grand Prix

Nikola Tsolov, ART Grand Prix

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Nikola Tsolov has secured his second win of the Formula 3 campaign in the Austrian sprint race, holding off Martinius Stenshorne and Christian Mansell in a final-lap restart after a late safety car.

Starting from pole, Stenshorne immediately surrendered the lead of the 21-lap race to Mansell after making a tardy launch. Having attempted to regain the position on the run to Turn 4, things then got worse as a second ART of Tsolov ran around the outside at that corner and relegated the Norwegian to third.

Before the opening lap reached its conclusion, the safety car was called into action as the marshals took to the track to recover Kacper Sztuka’s MP Motorsport entry after damage caused in a collision involving Charlie Wurz (Jenzer) and Joseph Loake (Rodin) forced him to retire.

The interruption also gave championship contender Dino Beganovic a chance to reset at the rear of the pack following a Turn 1 spin which had dropped the Prema driver from eighth.

From the restart, the field remained largely in a single DRS train as Mansell and Tsolov duelled for the lead with pass and counter-pass moves largely at turns three and four, both drivers taking full advantage of the three DRS zones at the Red Bull Ring.

But it was Leonardo Fornaroli (Trident) who performed the move of the race, skimming the gravel on the exit of Turn 5 to take Nikita Bedrin (AIX) for 15th on lap 11.

Just as Mansell dropped behind Stenshorne to the final step on the podium, the race was interrupted by the safety car for the second time after Sebastian Montoya made heavy contact with the wall before his Campos entry came to a halt in the middle of the track.

The incident was triggered when he ran wheel-to-wheel with Alex Dunne approaching Turn 4, with Montoya taking to the grass to continue the battle before losing traction and spinning across the front of the MP Motorsport car.

With only a one-lap shootout to negotiate, Tsolov controlled the restart and led the pack across the line with the top places remaining unchanged; although Mansell questioned the moves of the top two, hinting they had been completed under yellow flag or safety car conditions.

Clarifying what had happened in the post-race press conference, Mansell retracted any suggestion of wrongdoing, revealing he had slowed in reaction to a beep that warns of a yellow flag somewhere on the track instead of waiting for the second tone which confirms a virtual or full safety car.

In the championship battle, Gabriele Mini closed the gap to Fornaroli and Luke Browning, with four points now covering the lead trio after neither of the top two troubled the scoreboard in 12th and 11th respectively.

F3 Austria - Sprint race results

1
 - 
4
1
 - 
2
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h Pits Points Retirement Bonus
1
N. Tsolov ART Grand Prix
25 21

34'24.710

157.885 10 1
2
M. Stenshorne Hitech Pulse-Eight
15 21

+0.672

34'25.382

0.672 157.833 9
3
C. Mansell ART Grand Prix
23 21

+1.244

34'25.954

0.572 157.790 8
4
A. Dunne MP Motorsport
9 21

+1.647

34'26.357

0.403 157.759 7
5
L. Van ART Grand Prix
24 21

+3.168

34'27.878

1.521 157.643 6
6
G. Minì Prema Powerteam
2 21

+3.496

34'28.206

0.328 157.618 5
7
O. Goethe Campos Racing
10 21

+3.750

34'28.460

0.254 157.598 4
8
T. Tramnitz MP Motorsport
7 21

+4.053

34'28.763

0.303 157.575 3
9
N. León Van Amersfoort Racing
20 21

+4.498

34'29.208

0.445 157.542 2
10
S. Meguetounif Trident
5 21

+4.886

34'29.596

0.388 157.512 1
11
L. Browning Hitech Pulse-Eight
14 21

+5.257

34'29.967

0.371 157.484
12
L. Fornaroli Trident
4 21

+6.118

34'30.828

0.861 157.418
13
N. Bedrin PHM AIX Racing
27 21

+7.076

34'31.786

0.958 157.345
14
C. Voisin Rodin Motorsport
29 21

+7.634

34'32.344

0.558 157.303
15
D. Beganovic Prema Powerteam
1 21

+7.690

34'32.400

0.056 157.299
16
C. Shields Hitech Pulse-Eight
16 21

+8.317

34'33.027

0.627 157.251
17
M. Zagazeta Jenzer Motorsport
19 21

+8.617

34'33.327

0.300 157.229
18
M. Esterson Jenzer Motorsport
18 21

+8.726

34'33.436

0.109 157.220
19
J. Loake Rodin Motorsport
31 21

+9.161

34'33.871

0.435 157.187
20
C. Wurz Jenzer Motorsport
17 21

+9.518

34'34.228

0.357 157.160
21
T. Smith Van Amersfoort Racing
22 21

+9.811

34'34.521

0.293 157.138
22
M. Boya Campos Racing
12 21

+10.759

34'35.469

0.948 157.066
23
P. Wiśnicki Rodin Motorsport
30 21

+10.976

34'35.686

0.217 157.050
24
S. Ramos Trident
6 21

+11.094

34'35.804

0.118 157.041
25
J. Dufek PHM AIX Racing
28 21

+11.350

34'36.060

0.256 157.022
26 Germany S. Flörsch Van Amersfoort Racing 21 21

+11.766

34'36.476

0.416 156.990
27
T. Inthraphuvasak PHM AIX Racing
26 21

+20.645

34'45.355

8.879 156.322
dnf
A. Lindblad Prema Powerteam
3 17

+4 Laps

27'25.922

4 Laps Retirement
dnf Colombia S. Montoya Campos Racing 11 16

+5 Laps

24'50.677

1 Lap Retirement
dnf
K. Sztuka MP Motorsport
8 20

Retirement

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