Formula Renault 3.5 Series: Rowland wins second race at Spa
English driver Oliver Rowland (Fortec Motorsport) has taken the lead of the general classification in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series after his win in second race at Spa-Francorchamps. Starting from pole position, Rowland won ahead of the highest placed rookie today, Nyck de Vries (DAMS). Frenchman Matthieu Vaxiviere (Lotus), winner of yesterday’s race, completed today’s podium.
Oliver Rowland leaves Belgium with a six point lead from Vaxiviere in the championship standings and eight ahead of his team mate Jazeman Jaafar, who started last but finished sixth on Sunday.
In qualifying, Oliver Rowland secured his first pole of the year ahead of Tio Ellinas (Strakka Racing), Nyck de Vries and Jazeman Jaafar, but Malaysian driver was relegated to the back of the grid following technical inspections.
Oliver Rowland held on to the lead ahead of the DAMS duo of Nyck de Vries and Dean Stoneman, who overtook Tio Ellinas before the La Source hairpin. Contact between Tom Dillmann (Jagonya Ayam with Carlin) and Nicholas Latifi (Arden Motorsport) resulted in a puncture for the Frenchman and a rear wing change for the Canadian. Further back in the field, Jazeman Jaafar passed several cars to enter the top ten at the end of the opening lap.
Oliver Rowland still led after the mandatory tyre changes. With little to worry about in the lead, except for a few rain drops, he won for the second time this season. Nyck de Vries finished second, after fending off the attacks from Matthieu Vaxiviere just until the end of the race.
Dean Stoneman did the same for fourth place against Tio Ellinas and Jazeman Jaafar. Aurélien Panis (Tech 1 Racing), Pietro Fantin (International Draco Racing), Egor Orudzhev (Arden Motorsport) and Meindert van Buuren (Lotus) completed the top ten.
Oliver Rowland: “I got a good start, but far from ideal, but enough to hold on to the lead. With a different aerodynamic configuration from the others, I knew the rest of the race would be simpler and I stayed in front. I was able to build a gap, but the menacing rain began to fall in the final laps. Yesterday’s result was disappointing and I am pleased to have bounced back like I did.”
Next two races will be hold at Hungaroring 13 and 14 June, as a part of World Series by Renault event, together with new Renault Sport Series Trophy and Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup.