Barnicoat returns to F3 podium at Spa

Ben Barnicoat returned to the podium to score his third top three finish of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship season in the opening race of the seventh round at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Having qualified for the first of three races in third position the previous day, soaking wet conditions met the drivers on the grid with stewards calling for a safety car start to the race.

The safety car remained out on track leading the drivers around the circuit for over 20 minutes, before releasing the pack for the final 15 minutes.

Barnicoat was under immediate pressure, when Prema’s Nick Cassidy spied an opening up the inside of the opening corner, the La Source hairpin.

With the two almost making contact, Cassidy seemed to have a quick advantage, before Barnicoat retained the place with the inside line up the hill into Eau Rouge.

From there, Barnicoat drove an assured race maintaining his position, before Carlin’s Weiron Tan crashed at Les Combes, forcing the safety car to re-appear.

With a flatbed truck required to remove Tan’s Dallara-built car from the track, the race clock ticked down, and with no time remaining, the chequered flag was dropped with no further racing taking place, handing Barnicoat a podium finish.