Van Amersfoort Racing’s Caio Collet sealed victory and the fastest lap in the F3 Sprint Race at Spa-Francorchamps, as championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto suffered his first DNF of the season.

Collet was followed home by maiden podium-sitter Taylor Barnard and third-placed Paul Aron in an eventful 12-lap race that finished under the Safety Car.

The final Safety Car period was the third of the short race and given the lack of laps under green, race officials declared that no points were to be awarded for the race.

The biggest winner of the no-points ruling was Bortoleto, the championship leader started outside the top-10 for the first time all season and his day got worse after contact to the rear from Dino Beganovic at Turn 1 led to him pulling out on the Kemmel Straight for his first retirement of the season on Lap 9.

But the no-points nature of the Sprint means his sizeable 42-point championship lead remains intact.

Hoping to gain from Bortoleto’s retirement was Zak O’Sullivan, winner in the Hungary Feature Race last time out.

O’Sullivan climbed through from seventh at the start to fourth via a series of daring moves at each Safety Car restart.

The first Safety Car came out on the opening lap, thanks to Sebastian Montoya getting tagged by Rafael Villagomez.

Prior to the Safety Car’s release, Collet, Barnard and Aron had climbed up to the top three as reverse pole-sitter Hugh Barter tumbled down the order.

The Safety Car came in at the end of lap three, but shortly afterwards would be called to action once more as a dramatic title twist came to pass.

Fastest in qualifying and looking to close in on series leader Bortoleto, Josep Maria Marti made an ambitious move on Gabrielle Mini at Turn 10, causing them both to spin out.

Marti then collected Ido Cohen with a clumsy attempt at rejoining the circuit.

The second Safety Car period ended at the start of Lap 8, but green flag racing came to an end following Borotleto’s aforementioned retirement.

Collet delightfully took the chequered flag behind the Safety Car, ahead of Barnard, Aron and O’Sullivan.

Jonny Edgar finished in fifth, ahead of Franco Colapinto and pole-sitter Barter in sixth and seventh.

Nikola Tsolov finished in eighth place, with Beganovic and Luke Browning completing the top-10.

The lack of racing laps means the drivers’ standings remain the same as they did before the Sprint Race got underway.

Bortoleto leads with 144 points, ahead of Marti with 102 and O’Sullivan with 101 points.

Bortoleto needs just a 39-point margin at the end of tomorrow’s Feature Race to be declared F3 champion.

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