After his perfect Saturday Matthieu Vaxiviere (Tech 1 Racing) went out and did it all over again on Sunday, winning the second Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 race of the weekend from team-mate Egor Orudzhev (Tech 1 Racing) and Oliver Rowland (Manor MP Motorsport) to consolidate his lead in the overall standings.
Tech 1 Racing colleagues Matthieu Vaxiviere and Egor Orudzhev shone under rainy skies in the morning to secure both places on the front row for Simon Abadie’s team. The race-one polesitter and winner headed qualifying from his team-mate, while Luca Ghiotto (Prema Powerteam) and Jake Dennis (Fortec Motorsports) shared the next row on the grid.
The falling rain meant a safety car start, though Leo Roussel (ARTA Engineering) was absent from the grid after sliding off on his installation lap. The safety car left the drivers to it on lap four, as Matthieu Vaxiviere made a perfect getaway from Egor Orudzhev, and Oliver Rowland and Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing) locked horns behind them.
Luca Ghiotto saw his hopes evaporate on lap five when he ended up in the gravel trap, with Alexander Albon (ART Junior Team), Marcos Siebert (Jenzer Motorsport) and Yu Kanamaru (KTR) all suffering the same fate in the laps that followed. Places changed hands throughout the race as poor visibility played havoc in the pack, though race leader Matthieu Vaxiviere had no such problems as he made his escape.
In the closing laps Oliver Rowland launched attack after attack on Egor Orudzhev, but despite a string of fastest times the British driver could find no way past his Russian adversary, who made sure of a Tech 1 Racing one-two. Just for good measure, Matthieu Vaxiviere completed another grand slam in chalking up the fastest lap of the race as he took the chequered flag. Egor Orudzhev and Oliver Rowland joined the Frenchman on the podium followed by Oscar Tunjo (Josef Kaufmann Racing), Jake Dennis (Fortec Motorsports) and Esteban Ocon (ART Junior Team), with Nyck De Vries (Koiranen GP), Ignazio d’Agosto (KTR), Pierre Gasly (Tech 1 Racing) and William Vermont (ARTA Engineering) occupying the remaining positions in the top ten.
What they said:
Matthieu Vaxivière: “Starting the race with the safety car was the right decision. I didn’t make any mistakes and the gap grew quickly. The team did a good job and thanks to Egor we were able to give them a one-two.”
Egor Orudzhev: “I’m very happy with the result. Tech 1 Racing had the car performing really well in the wet. The conditions were treacherous and as soon as I saw Matthieu pull away I just tried to keep Oliver at bay and hold on to my position.”
Oliver Rowland: “We had a few problems yesterday. I was disappointed to miss out on pole this morning because it’s difficult to gain places after a safety car start. I tried to push Egor to the limit but I started to lose grip. Things will be better at Spa.”