The fastest ever GP3 pole time at Spa Francorchamps and his sixth podium finish this season consolidated Mitch Evans's lead in the very brief opening race of the series at the Belgian Grand Prix.

After leading the opening lap, Evans slipped back to third but was involved in a tight tussle at the front of the 26-car field when the 13th race of the season was red flagged after only four laps of racing.

With little more than 10 minutes left on the clock, the scheduled 12-lap feature race was not restarted and only half points were awarded. The red-flag came after just 15 minutes of the scheduled 25-minute duration because Robert Cregan had a heavy crash into a tyre wall.

German driver Daniel Abt was declared the victor, becoming the eighth different driver to win this season. Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa took second but only got one point rather than the usual two-point bonus for fastest lap.


"Changes to the set up cost as the advantage we had in qualifying, but I scored good points, so it wasn't a bad day," said Evans.

With a maximum of 67 points available in the remaining three races, Evans has extended his overall lead to 24.5 over the Finn Aaro Vainio who finished sixth in the shortened Spa race.

Evans will start the reverse top eight overnight race at the Belgian Grand Prix meeting from sixth on the grid. After Spa, the final two GP3 races are at Monza in Italy next weekend.

"The GP3 rules require us to run a bit more downforce in the races than we do in qualifying and I was struggling a bit for straight line speed. It was my fault, allowing da Costa to get inside, but I was hanging in there." said Evans.