Rowland thrilled after Hungaroring triumph


Oliver Rowland secured his third victory of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series season on Sunday at the Hungaroring, holding off the challenge of main championship rival Matthieu Vaxiviere, having taken a podium finish in the opening race on Saturday.

The Racing Steps Foundation-backed Fortec Motorsports driver was unable to capitalise on taking pole position for race one on Saturday, dropping behind eventually race winner Egor Orudzhev of Arden Motorsport heading into the first corner, and was disappointed to lose second place to Roberto Merhi of Pons Racing at the final corner of the last lap.

“I made a mistake with the clutch at the start and I got too much wheel spin,” revealed Rowland. “I was able to re-pass Vaxiviere on the first lap, but I was really frustrated with this poor start and I used the DRS too often to close the gap.

“In catching up to Egor, I thought it would have been better, but it wasn’t the case. It got even worse with Roberto passing me on the last lap.”

After the disappointment of seeing a pole start end with a third place finish on Saturday, Rowland more than made amends on Sunday, moving up from fifth on the grid to lead into the first corner, and withstood almost constant pressure from Vaxiviere to claim victory.

“Yesterday, I missed my start but today I managed a really good one,” insisted Rowland. “I also think that the drivers ahead of me missed theirs.

“We waited for Matthieu to make his stop before we came in because he was able to stay very close to me, while I was driving flat out all throughout the race… except when he eased off!

“I had to make sure I was faster than him in the last corner and I saved the DRS to have five impulsions left in the last five laps.”