On Saturday, Matthieu Vaxiviere won the pole on a drying track surface with a best time of 1:18.160 ahead of Roberto Merhi (Pons Racing). Excluded from the rest of the weekend after his dangerous post-race move in race 1, the Spaniard ceded his place on row one to Oliver Rowland. Nyck de Vries (DAMS), Roy Nissany and Marlon Stockinger (Lotus) completed the top five on the grid.
At the start, Matthieu Vaxiviere emerged in the lead in spite of the attacks of Oliver Rowland. Further back, Roy Nissany was third ahead of Nyck de Vries and Meindert van Buuren. The start of the race claimed three victims : Louis Delétraz (Comtec Racing) returned to the pits, while Nicholas Latifi (Arden Motorsport) and Dean Stoneman (DAMS) retired.
Victory for Vaxiviere, maiden podium for Nissany
Matthieu Vaxiviere and Oliver Rowland swapped fastest race laps before the Frenchman picked up the pace to give himself some breathing room. Despite a burst of pride, the Englishman was four seconds adrift when the chequers were waved. Never bothered, the rookie Roy Nissany scored his maiden podium result, the first for Tech 1 Racing this season.
Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing) passed Nyck de Vries (DAMS) for fourth place with six laps to go. Marlon Stockinger held off Gustav Malja (Strakka Racing) for sixth place and Tom Dillmann (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) who managed to get the better of Jazeman Jaafar (Fortec Motorsports). The Malay finished ahead of Holland’s Beitske Visser (AVF), who picked up the final point after she overtook Bruno Bonifacio (International Draco Racing) on lap 19.
Matthieu Vaxiviere : “Obviously I am happy to have won, but I am not entirely satisfied with the day overall. It was a nice race, I was able to manage a gap to Oliver, and now we have to work to be ready straight away when the season resumes in September and try to win the championship. It is going to be a nice battle with Oliver :”
Oliver Rowland : “I knew that if I took the lead on the opening lap, I could win. I really liked the first three corners where we were very close, but then he was a little quicker. We have extended our lead and we have to continue like this. At Silverstone, the focus will be on the championship although driving the Red Bull with its V8 will be fantastic. Thanks to World Series by Renault for the opportunity !”
Roy Nissany : “It’s great to be on the podium, it’s been a long time ! The weekend got off to a very good start and we have done a great, really great job working as a team to develop the car. After lacking seat time during the winter, I have adapted and we have progressed ever since. The first points at Budapest and now a podium, onwards and upwards !”
Provisional general classification* : 1. O. Rowland – 166 points, 2. M. Vaxiviere – 140, 3. J. Jaafar – 90, 4. D. Stoneman – 86, 5. N. de Vries – 71…
*Subject to confirmation of the results following the technical and sporting verifications