Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia saw Round 8 of the GP3 Series, and the series maiden visit at this track. The schedule had been changed for the series, seeing Free Practice taking place on Thursday, Qualifying Friday, Race 1 on Saturday and Race 2 on Sunday.
During Thursday’s Free Practice, Jack Aitken topped the timing sheets with a quick lap of 1:50.883, showing strong pace throughout the session. Not too far behind him was team mate Jake Dennis (1:51.209) in 4th with a gap of 0.326. Tatiana Calderon in 19th (1:52.818). During the Qualifying session, Dennis quick on the pace for the first half of the session. The trio then pitted for new rubber, and during the second half of the session Dennis lit purple in S1 and S2, but couldn’t improve in S3 – placing him 9th for Race 1. Aitken had fast pace throughout the session, taking the chequered flag in 4th only 0.357 behind pole and Calderon completed the session in 20th.
The 19-lap Race 1 got underway with Aitken making an incredible start, moving up into second place, managing to avoid a few first lap incidents, and closing his gap to only half a second behind the leader. Dennis battled for 6th, and after gaining the position he then set focus on 5th, but out-braked himself and maintained his position in 6th. Calderon came into the pits and later retired due to clutch failure at the start.
In Race 2, Dennis started from 3rd on the grid, where he took full advantage into T1 and diving straight into the lead. Remaining composed and focused, he charged on to create a 3 second gap. Also making great process was Aitken, who got up into 3rd by the midway point; with 2nd place in sight he began to put pressure on Fukuzumi. Dennis took the chequered flag to secure his second win, moving him up into 4th in the Drivers Championship. Aitken crossed the line in 3rd place to complete a double podium for Arden. Calderon took the flag in 15th.
Arden also increased their 2nd place in the Teams Championship, now with 240 points.
The next and final round of the season will take place in Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Circuit on 25-27th November.
photo credit: Dutch Photo Agency