As the cars lined up on the grid there was a long hold before the lights went off, this caused several drivers to be a little slow away including Fabio Leimer who lost two places into the first corner. At the end of the opening lap Leimer was holding 6th place 0.6 seconds behind Razia and 0.5 seconds ahead of Chilton. It was a disappointing opening lap for Nathanaël Berthon who spun following contact with another car and dropped to last place.
Over the next few laps Leimer began a hard battle with Razia as he began to open out a gap on Chilton and by lap 9 he was 0.6 seconds behind the Arden car and 3.5 seconds ahead of Chilton. The mandatory pitstops began on lap 7 and by lap 13 Leimer, who was yet to stop, was leading the race.
On the following lap Leimer made his stop changing both rear tyres but a small problem with the left rear wheel cost the Swiss driver a couple of seconds and he resumed the track in 9th position.
A collision between two of the leading cars saw the Safety Car deployed on lap 16 and it was three laps before racing could resume. At the restart Leimer, now lying 7th, passed Clos to take 6th and immediately began to close on Gutierrez. On lap 22 Leimer dropped back to 7th when Dilman was able to slipstream past the Racing Engineering car on the long main straight.
Leimer did not give up and kept the pressure on Dilman as the racing was now very close at the front with the gap from 2nd to 7th less than six seconds. Refusing to give up Leimer hounded Dilman for the remaining laps of the race but had to settle for 7th, just 0.6 seconds behind the Rapax driver.
It was a lonely race for Berthon, his first lap spin saw him resume in last place, over 7 seconds behind the next car. Although the young Frenchman fought hard and was able to gain several places a late race retirement due to another incident with the same driver from his opening lap accident saw him fail to finish.
Today’s 7th place will mean that Leimer will start tomorrow’s Sprint Race from the front row of the grid and his race pace today must make him a strong contender for the victory. For Berthon his retirement means he will start towards the rear of the field but the Frenchman has shown his overtaking ability before and he will be looking to gain as many places as possible.