Alex Rossi claimed his second International Formula Master victory of the season in the curtain-raising race for the Belgian Grand Prix, although runner-up Fabio Leimer was the big winner as he moved to within touching distance of sealing the title.
Rossi, who also won at Brno earlier in the season, climbed from fourth on the grid to second when the lights went out after third-place starter Alex Sims was left stranded at the start with a gearbox full of neutrals and was collected by Kelvin Snoeks.
This brought out the safety car, and when the race restarted on lap five it didn't take long for Rossi to take the lead from pole position starter Pal Varhaug.
With Rossi stretching his lead, the man on the move was Leimer. The Jenzer Motorsport driver ran seventh under the safety car, and it didn't take him long to pick off Tiago Petiz at the restart.
A lap later, he demoted Sergey Afanasiev and Simon Trummer to take fourth, and on lap seven he was up to third ahead of Varhaug.
It was only a matter of time before he was up to second ahead of Erik Janis, who had earlier passed Varhaug for second and by lap 10, he was ahead.
Leimer closed to within a second of Rossi by the finish, setting fastest lap along the way to close to within one point of clinching the title with four races to spare.
Janis held on to third place, with Afanasiev climbing to fourth ahead of Varhaug, with Frankie Provenzano claiming sixth place on his IFM return.
Trummer ended the race eighth behind Vladimiar Arabadzhiev.