With the team in positive spirits following the podiums and win last time out in Spa-Francorchamps, the sun was shining in Monza for Race 1 of GP3 series. After a productive practice on Friday, the Qualifying session on Saturday morning saw Jake Dennis 2nd, Jack Aitken 3rd and Tatiana Calderon in 15th.
As the lights went out, Dennis had an excellent start, on the tail of Leclerc by Turn 1, with Aitken not far behind. The Arden-duo challenged Leclerc up until the Safety Car was deployed briefly after a car stopped on the track. Once the race resumed, Dennis and Aitken were battling it out for 2nd place.
By lap 5, Atiken was unsuccessful in passing his teammate, and Dennis passed the Frenchman for the lead of the race.
One lap later, Aitken also passed on Leclerc and started to hunt down Dennis.
With a 0.6s gap to Aitken, Dennis was storming ahead. Aitken increased his lead on Leclerc by 1.4s. A little further down the grid, Calderon was making up places lap by lap.
Aitken had controlled his race perfectly, meaning a fast charging Hughes could not challenge him and had to settle for 3rd.
As the chequered flag dropped, Dennis celebrated his maiden GP3 victory, with a lead of almost 2s on Atiken. Aitken came across the line in 2nd, the team celebrating a 1-2 finish, and Calderon bagging the final Championship point in 10th.
Race 2, the Sunday’s GP3 race saw the reverse grid, Aitken started 7th, Dennis started 8th after his maiden win, and Calderon in 10th. Two of the ART drivers made contact at the circuit iconic ‘Curve Grande’, Aitken managed to avoid contact while unfortunately Calderon got caught up with the pair despite being in strong position, and had to pit for a new front nose cone.
Once the race had resumed, Dennis and Aitken had made up positions and was currently sitting 4th and 5th. Aitken was putting pressure on his teammate Dennis on the penultimate lap, attempting to make a move for 4th but having to go wide on T1 he lost ground, slipping back into 5th position.
Taking the Chequered Flag, Dennis came across the line in 4th, Aitken in 5th, and Calderon in 16th, following a 5 second time penalty.
Round 8 of the 2016 GP3 Series Championship takes place on the 30th Sep – 2nd Oct in Sepang, Malaysia.