After suffering 3 DNFs in a row, Hunter Ryan began the second half of the season by coming through from 3rd on the grid to notch up his first win since the last race he finished at Silverstone. He also became just the second driver in doing so alongside Felix Perez to notch up multiple wins in this tight season.
The star of Qualifying, Andrey Kerzhakov got a decent getaway from pole, but by the time he got to Turn 1 he was already under attack from Felix Perez. He got around the Rettifilo Chicane with the lead, but by the time they made it around the Curva Grande it was the Mexican who had the drive to take him to the lead of the race.
Once the field got to the Curva Grande it was evident that Oleksandr Zozulya had made the best start of any driver on the grid. He had already made his way up to 11th after starting 15th on the grid, and was all over the rear of de la Fuente, who had also made a good start from 13th. As they cam to the Lesmo corners Zozulya had the balls to go around the outside of Lesmo 1, and just pull ahead of the Spaniard, as all de la Fuente could do was back out of an unlikely move into the second Lesmo.
Viktor Ostberg was starting to apply his wet weathe craft to the dry heat of Monza as he took James Vasquez up the inside of the Ascari chicane. What made the move brilliant was that he still managed to get a terrific run exiting the corner, allowing him to get alongside Hunter Ryan on the run back to the Parabolica. Despite the Australian's efforts the Swede was in no mood to get off second best, and he swooped into the podium positions as the first lap drew to a close.
Perez lead Kerzhakov and Ostberg, but further back Zozulya was still on a charge, up to 9th when he crossed the line after overtaking Ikram Aliyev also at the Parabolica. As Lap 2 began however Zozulya locked up going into the first chicane, allowing Aliyev and de la Fuente to close right back up. De la Fuente's class prevailed as he benefitted from a double slipstream arounf the Curva Grande to overtake both Aliyev and Zozulya with some brilliant instinct driving.
As the coolsuits worked in overdrive, Brittany Johnson was beginning to build the best rhythm in the continuously warm conditions. After a clean opening lap for herself she began closing in on the cars ahead. Over the space of the next 3 laps she overtook all of Sergio Alvarez, Spa winner Otso Toivonen, and to put the icing on the cake she went up the inside of none other than James Vasquez at the Ascari chicane to take 5th position.
Hunter Ryan saw the charging American coming through in his rear-view mirrors, so he ensured Viktor Ostberg would be in between himself and her as he overtook the Swede along the pit straight. Perez and Kerzhakov up ahead were battling for fastest lap honours, and it left the Aussie with some catching up to do as he sat 5 seconds off the lead.
One of the more disgruntled drivers of the race was Aleksandr Hadzic. He came in hoping for a chance of points at a circuit he's driven before in multiple categories, but his day had to end early with a loss of hydraulic pressure. Once he pitted to retire, Felix Perez crossed the start/finish line to get to half distance, with the field as follows:
Not long after halfway the first corner braking zone took its first victim of the afternoon, as Viktor Ostberg out-braked himself and had to revert to the chicane in the run-off area, losing valuable time as he dropped from 4th to 7th, just staying ahead of de la Fuente after the Spaniard and Alvarez overtook Toivonen, leaving Alvarez leading Ostberg, then de la Fuente and Toivonen by the time they reached the 2nd chicane, which had yellow flags due to Dominic Hanson retiring with gerabox gremlins.
Ostberg's Johansson teammate Zander Brynildsen didn't show the same signs of trouble as he continued his charge from the field from the moment the lights went out. After starting 16th, and running 14th at half distance, the Norwegian continued moving forward as he put moves on the Aliyev brothers and Nlkaus Holzberg in the space of a lap and a half. Reverse pole clearly wasn't on the man's mind as he looked to continue his charge in 11th.
Hunter Ryan was showing his potential to catch the front duo as he set the fastest lap of the race. The first driver to crack was Felix Perez as he went straight on at the 2nd Lesmo to lose out to both Ryan and Kerzhakov, who took back the lead. it was short lived however as he became the 2nd victim of the Rettifilo chicane, gifting Ryan with a comfortable lead as Perez snuck back past Kerzhakov for 2nd place.
On the same lap Ikram Aliyev went straight on at the same corner Kerzhakov went off, only to be clobbered into the side of by Ellenor Haugland, and just like that both drivers were out of the race. No safety car required, but drivers were told to be aware of possible debris off line at the start of the Curva Grande.
Otso Toivonen took to the bravery he used in the Spa weather to make a ballsy move on de la Fuente at the 1st Lesmo with 4 laps left. He made sure the Spaniard didn't get to the apex, and by the time they both got to the 2nd Lesmo Toivonen was ahead.
Due to the dodgy exit after pulling the overtake, a determined Oleksandr Zozulya stamped his authority on the battle by overtaking both de la Fuente and then Toivonen as they raced under the old Monza oval on the run to the Ascari chicane. After his poor qualifying he had climbed up to 8th position, a few seconds behind Ostberg.
A few moves in the final lap saw Vasquez sneak past Kerzhakov at the second chicane, and Alvarez on Johnson at the Parabolica, nobody could stop Hunter Ryan from crossing the line to win from Perez, Vasquez, Kerzhakov and Alvarez. Full Results Below: