Rowland Dominates for First FR3.5 Series Win at Aragon


Racing Steps Foundation backed driver Oliver Rowland dominated the second race at the Motorland Aragon circuit to win for the first time in the Formula Renault 3.5 series. The Fortec Motorsport driver led away from pole position to beat Pierre Gasly by 13.770s, with the Arden Motorsport driver passing Will Stevens at the hairpin on the final lap for P2. The Strakka Racing driver just about held off the other Red Bull backed driver of Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr at the end to finish on the podium.

Briton Rowland made his compulsory pit-stop later than many and controlled the race with ease at the front.   Gasly made a good move to get ahead of International Draco Racing’s Pietro Fantin just after the pit stops, while a few laps later he tried a move on Stevens that failed but also cost him a place to Sainz. Gasly and Stevens had a good fight over the last two laps after the Frenchman passed Spaniard Sainz back at the hairpin at the end of the long back straight the lap before when the DAMS driver locked his tyres.

Zoel Amberg impressed again for AV Formula, being one of the final drivers to make their pit stops and climbing to fifth at the end, finishing on the tail of the battle for second ahead of him. Another driver to impress with a climb through the field was sixth placed Roberto Merhi, the Zeta Corse driver having started fifteenth.

Marco Sorensen scored his first points of the season for Tech 1 Racing in seventh, ahead of Matthieu Vaxiviere in eighth for Lotus. ISR’s Jazeman Jaafar and DAMS’ Norman Nato filled the final two points-paying positions in ninth and tenth.

The driver who sat second in the championship before the race Nikolay Martsenko was unfortunate to be eliminated on the opening lap of the race when International Draco Racing’s Luca Ghiotto stalled on the grid in front of him and he had nowhere to go, which resulted in the Comtec Racing driver clipping the rear of Ghiotto’s car, breaking his suspension.

Marlon Stockinger was another high-profile retirement, with the Lotus driver colliding with Arden Motorsport’s Will Buller on lap 12 that saw both drivers retiring. It is Buller’s third retirement out of four races, all due to contact with other drivers. Sergey Sirotkin also failed to see the chequered flag with a rear suspension failure on his Fortec Motorsport car towards the end of the race.

Sainz now heads to Monaco in four weeks time with the championship lead on 62 points, with Rowland in second on 49 and Gasly third on 45. Fortec now head the teams’ championship on 74 points, eleven points ahead of DAMS.

Aragon Race 2 Result

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME/Laps
1 Oliver Rowland GBR Fortec Motorsport 41m44.385s
2 Pierre Gasly FRA Arden Motorsport +13.770s
3 Will Stevens GBR Strakka Racing +14.764s
4 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP DAMS +14.916s
5 Zoel Amberg SWI AVF +15.228s
6 Roberto Merhi ESP Zeta Corse +16.296s
7 Marco Sorensen DEN Tech 1 Racing +17.337s
8 Matthieu Vaxiviere FRA Lotus +19.236s
9 Jazeman Jaafar MAL ISR +24.481s
10 Norman Nato FRA DAMS +28.141s
11 Meindert van Buuren NED Pons Racing +34.736s
12 Pietro Fantin BRZ International Draco Racing +35.705s
13 Oliver Webb GBR Pons Racing +37.511s
14 Matias Laine FIN Strakka Racing +42.182s
15 Roman Mavlanov RUS Zeta Corse +49.201s
16 Beitske Visser NED AVF +50.925s
RET Sergey Sirotkin RUS Fortec Motorsport 19 Laps
RET Will Buller GBR Arden Motorsport 12 Laps
RET Marlon Stockinger PHI Lotus 12 Laps
RET Luca Ghiotto ITA International Draco Racing 0 Laps
RET Nikolay Martsenko RUS Comtec Racing 0 Laps