ART Grand Prix’s Nikola Tsolov took his maiden victory in Formula 3, winning the Monte Carlo Sprint Race from reverse grid Pole.

MP Motorsport’s Tim Tramnitz finished in second after jumping ahead of Tsolov’s ART teammate Laurens van Hoepen on the opening lap into Sainte Devote, and resisted pressure for the remaining laps to hold the position, leaving the Dutchman to round out the podium in P3.


Tsolov got the launch he needed to retain first, but Tramnitz was able to leapfrog the ART of van Hoepen to take second into Turn 1.

Further back and coming through Casino Square, contact between the third ART of Christian Mansell and PREMA Racing’s Arvid Lindblad put both into the wall. Their clash left the AIX Racing car of Joshua Dufek, MP Motorsport driver Alex Dunne and Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Cian Shields unable to avoid a collision behind.

It brought out the Safety Car before the first lap was completed, but with five cars needing to be cleared, a Red Flag followed.

One big winner on the opening lap was Luke Browning, as the Hitech driver was able to move up from 10th to eighth, passing early season title rival Leonardo Fornaroli in the Trident.

Racing got back underway entering Lap 4 with a rolling start and Tsolov retained his lead comfortably over Tramnitz. Van Hoepen followed in third with Noel León in fourth for Van Amersfoort Racing ahead of Rodin Motorsport’s Joseph Loake in P5.

Tsolov got the ideal getaway while Tramnitz seized second position into Turn 1
Tsolov got the ideal getaway while Tramnitz seized second position into Turn 1

The gaps fluctuated between those in the top 10 in the early phases of green flag racing, as Tsolov was able to repel Tramnitz thereby preventing the MP driver from gaining the DRS advantage.

By half distance, the gap was up to 2.5s in the Bulgarian driver’s favour, while Tramnitz had van Hoepen glued to his rear wing just 0.3s back, while León lurked a further half second behind.

Lap 13 and the race was run for Kacper Sztuka, who stopped on the inside of Turn 1 with a puncture after contact with VAR’s Sophia Floersch, bringing out a Safety Car once again.

It was a short interruption and racing action resumed going onto Lap 16 and Tsolov re-launched into a sizeable lead.

Over the line to start Lap 20, the gap was up to 3.5s over Tramnitz, who had van Hoepen and León charging and within a second in the fight for the podium positions.

Tsolov was well clear by the chequered flag, winning by over four seconds as Tramnitz resisted the pressure from behind to earn second for MP and a third rostrum visit of the year. Van Hoepen had León close behind but held onto P3 for his third podium of the year also.

Loake added a best finish in F3 to his finest Qualifying result of the season with P5 for Rodin, as Mari Boya followed in sixth for Campos Racing.

Dino Beganovic was the highest-placed PREMA in P7, it was eighth for Browning, Fornaroli was ninth and Goethe rounded out the points in 10th.

The Bulgarian was comfortable in the end able to create a buffer to his closest rivals by the end
The Bulgarian was comfortable in the end, able to create a buffer to his closest rivals by the end

KEY QUOTE – Nikola Tsolov, ART Grand Prix

“I was shaking to be honest. It was a feeling I can’t explain. It’s like getting your first win in racing all over again. It’s been a while since I’ve had a win and it’s like breaking that loop, I was stuck in for a year and a half. It wasn’t an easy part of my career but now I’m happy and just need to keep working to continue from here.”


With a P9 finish in the Sprint, Leonardo Fornaroli retains the lead in the Drivers’ Championship on 54 points, though Luke Browning closes to within two points of the Italian, going onto 52 after finishing eighth. Dino Beganovic moves up to third on 50 points ahead of PREMA teammate Gabriele Minì, who remains on 45 points in fourth. Oliver Goethe moves onto 42 points to stay fifth in the Standings.

Over in the Teams’ Standings, PREMA remain on top with 127 points, Trident are second still going onto 109 with Campos Racing remaining third on 78. ART Grand Prix lift themselves up to fourth with 67 points ahead of Hitech Pulse-Eight in fifth, now on 62.


The Monte Carlo Feature Race is one every driver wants to win. PREMA’s Gabriele Minì starts from Pole with lights out scheduled for 08:00 local time on Sunday morning.