Not for the first time this season, Luca Ghiotto looked as though he was working on a different level to those around him on track as he drove his way to an emphatic win at Spa-Francorchamps in the Sunday morning race 2. Helped by early retirements for two of his major rivals for the 2015 drivers' championship, the Trident driver consolidated his points lead and made amends for a squandered opportunity the previous day where he'd only managed fifth place despite starting from pole.

See full Sunday GP3 race 2 results from Spa Francorchamps.

Even before the lights went out for the start of the GP3 race it had already proved an eventful morning, with Jenzer Motorsport's Ralph Boschung spinning off at Radillon and Zaid Ashkanani losing a front wheel off the Campos Racing car on their initial sighting lap to the grid, and then pole sitter Aleksander Bosak's Arden overshoot its grid position at the end of the formation lap.

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Despite Bosak's error, race control went ahead with the start anyway and front row man Alex Palou immediately leapt into the lead for Campos Racing going into La Source, while ART's Esteban Ocon immediately rebounded from the overnight penalty that cost him his hard-fought race 1 victory to leap into second place by winning a three-wide battle down the Kemmel Straight with ART pair Alfonso Celis Jr and Marvin Kirchh?fer.

The day went from bad to worse for Bosak as the Arden suffered a major puncture going through Blanchimont and went off. Although the contact with the wall appeared a relatively minor glancing one it was still violent enough to rip the entire back section off the car; one of the wheel tethers also failed and a tyre bounced into the path of the oncoming traffic, with Matt Parry the unlucky man to make contact with it. The impact destroyed the front left suspension on the Koiranen GP car and sent the Briton spinning out of the race and into the tyre wall on the other side of the track.

A safety car was deployed to enable the track workers to clear up the mess, and when the action resumed on lap 6 of 13 it was still Palou in charge from Ocon and Celis, with championship leader Luca Ghiotto having just got around Kirchh?fer for fourth place before the yellow flags had come out for Bosak's accident. Meanwhile suspension damage had eliminated Arden's Emil Bernstorff from contention after clutch problems on the grid and contact in La Source at the start.

Kirchh?fer was also heading for an early end to his race when he made contact with Carlin's Antonio Fuoco in the entry to Les Combes. Fuoco went off and attempted to rejoin the track, but broken rear suspension left him careening out of control and he spun in front of the crowded line of traffic. He made contact with Kirchh?fer and was then hit by the Trident of Artur Janosz: both Fuoco and Kirchh?fer were both out of the race and their cars collected under a new safety car period, but Janosz was able to continue despite significant damage to his car.

Palou once again controlled the restart heading into lap 8 with Ocon in second and Ghiotto having benefitted from the latest chaos to pass Celis for third. Ghiotto made that second place in the next run through Les Combes, although Ocon did everything he possibly could to make him work for it. A lap later and Ghiotto had no such problems breezing past Palou to take the lead of the race for the first time, the Italian then pulling out a lead of over a second in just one lap of the 4.335-mile (7km), 19-turn Spa-Francorchamps circuit, while Palou tried and promptly failed to hold off Ocon for second.

Celis also soon lined up a pass on Palou to take away the last podium place from the Spanish driver, while further back there was a fierce battle between Jenzer Motorsports' Math?o Tuscher and Status Grand Prix's Alex Fontana over fifth place and an equally no-holds-barred contest between Ralph Boschung (Jenzer) and Janosz that resulted in a huge lock-up as the cars came in to Les Combes to avoid a huge accident.

The battles continued right down to the final lap, which saw Tuscher edge away from Fontana and make a successful move on the ailing Palou for fourth place. At the front, Ghiotto's win seemed assured but Ocon nonetheless did everything that he could to close the gap to the leader and when the pair crossed the start/finish line there was less than a second between them.

Celis was some way further back down the road but was safely home in third place to pick up his maiden GP3 podium comfortably ahead of Tuscher who was fourth having starting the race all the way back in 20th place, with Palou thwarting Fontana's ambitions to cling on to fifth place. Seventh place went to Janosz, after the Polish driver had succeeded in completing his pass on Boschung who had to settle for the final points-paying position.

With Ghiotto's emphatic victory having more than made amends for a scrappy race 1 showing, the Italian now enjoys a 28 point lead over Ocon in the GP3 Series points standings with four rounds remaining in 2015 at Monza, Russia, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. A terrible Sunday for Kirchh?fer and Bernstorff means that they slip back from the points leader at the worst possible point of the season, but they'll doubtless have a chance to bounce back when the GP3 field reconvenes in two weeks time in Italy.

See full Sunday GP3 race 2 results from Spa Francorchamps.