Dennis beats Albon in European F3 Algarve opener

FIA Formula 3 European Championship, round 9, race 1, Portimão (POR)

Jake Dennis claimed a commanding lights-to-flag victory in the opening Formula 3 European Championship race of the weekend at the Algarve circuit.

Dennis converted pole into an early lead, as fellow front row starter and Prema team-mate Nick Cassidy stalled on the grid and plummeted down the order.

“I think, today I made the best start of the year,” said Dennis. “I was in front right away and I was immediately able to pull a gap.

“My car was great and I didn’t have any problems with tyre degradation either.”

Signature’s fast-starting Alexander Albon was Dennis’ closest challenger, jumping from sixth on the grid to run second behind the Carlin racer.

The Lotus junior racer, who was stripped of his race three pole on Saturday, shadowed Dennis throughout, but could not stop Dennis from scoring his sixth win of the campaign.

Title challenger Felix Rosenqvist came home third to complete the podium and cut Antonio Giovinazzi’s championship lead to 7.5 points, with the Italian only finishing ninth.

Lance Stroll recorded another fourth place finish to ensure three Prema cars finish in the top four.

Markus Pommer soaked up late pressure from Charles Leclerc, who is still in with an outside chance of the title, to come home fifth for Motopark.

Santino Ferrucci stormed past Giovinazzi, and then later Mikkel Jensen to finish a fine seventh.

Carlin’s George Russell resisted Motopark racer Sergio Sette Camara to round out the top 10.

After his poor start, F3 returnee Cassidy retired late on following contact with Red Bull-backed driver Calum Ilott.

Image courtesy of FIA European Formula 3 Championship

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