Rookie Egor Orudzhev (Arden Motorsport) wins for the second time this season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Starting from fifth place on the grid, the SMP Racing protégé employed a better strategy to take the lead of the race before fending off the attacks of Mattiheu Vaxiviere (Lotus), who needed to win to keep his title hopes alive. Pole man Tio Ellinas (Strakka Racing) completes the podium. With his eight place result, Oliver Rowland scored the need points to clinch the driver’s title and offer the first team championship in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series to Fortec Motorsport.
In the morning, Tio Ellinas took his second pole position of the year ahead of Matthieu Vaxiviere and Tom Dillmann (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin). Rookies Aurélien Panis (Tech 1 Racing) and Egor Orudzhev completed the top five on the grid. Leader in the general classification, Oliver Rowland started from the 14th spot on the grid.
Ellinas in control, Vaxiviere plummets
Tio Ellinas held on to the lead at the end of lap one, while Matthieu Vaxiviere tumbled down the order to seventh place. Tom Dillmann inherited second place and was followed by Egor Orudzhev, Aurélien Panis and Dean Stoneman (DAMS). Meanwhile, Oliver Rowland moved up to 11th place. On lap five, the incident involving André Negrão (International Draco Racing) and Yu Kanamaru (Pons Racing) brought out the safety car.
Orudzhev keeps cool
At the restart, Oliver Rowland got past Roy Nissany (Tech 1 Racing) to enter the top ten before putting in the mandatory pit stop to change tyres on lap eight. Coming in after their closest rivals, Egor Orudzhev and Matthieu Vaxiviere made the right calls as they both returned to action in the at the sharp end of the order.
Egor Orudzhev fended off several attacks from Matthieu Vaxiviere to take the win and bringing the French driver’s title hopes to an end. Tio Ellinas kept Dean Stoneman at bay to complete the podium. Tom Dillmann, Aurélien Panis and Nicholas Latifi (Arden Motorsport) were next, followed by Oliver Rowland in eighth place. Gustav Malja (Strakka Racing) and Nyck de Vries (DAMS) rounded out the top ten.
Egor Orudzhev: “The team did a fantastic job in the pits. The drivers ahead of me before the stop were quicker than me, but they must have had poor stops. Tio was struggling even before the pit stops. I attacked as much as I could when I was leading, but Matthieu was very close. It was a difficult race, but I want to thank the team a lot.”
Matthieu Vaxiviere: “I got a good start, but I had a problem changing gears and I lost a lot. I tried to overtake Nyck to no avail and the radio wasn’t working to tell me when to stop. It was quite a horrible situation. The team did a good job, but Egor was perfect today. I am thrilled to be on the podium at my home race and I want to sincerely congratulate Oliver for winning the championship.”
Oliver Rowland: “I didn’t feel well this morning and qualifying lap wasn’t very good. I got a good start and with the team, we did what we had to do. I am happy to have won this title and I can’t thank Fortec Motorsports and the Racing Steps Foundation enough for all their help. Congratulations also to Matthieu. He pushed me all along the season and was always on my heels! “
Provisional general classification * : 1. O. Rowland – 264 points, 2. M. Vaxiviere – 204, 3. D. Stoneman – 130, 4. N. de Vries– 123, 5. T. Dillmann – 114… *Subject to confirmation of the results following the technical and sporting verifications