Tio Ellinas was untouchable at Silverstone as he strode to his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 Series victory on Saturday afternoon at the home circuit of his Strakka Racing team.
The Cypriot driver defended the challenge of Jazeman Jaafar into the first handful of corners, but pulled out a substantial gap at the front and was able to consolidate his position at the end of the race to win by 8.025s.
Jaafar suffered a damaged front nose on the opening lap against Ellinas’ Strakka car, and then did his best to hold off a train of cars behind him before ultimately dropping back down the field, ultimately being lucky to finish inside the top ten.
Racing Steps Foundation-backed Oliver Rowland was able to capitalise on the mayhem to sneak passed both Matthieu Vaxiviere and Jaafar to move into second, with Vaxiviere then following through into third for Lotus, but the gap in the championship between the two rivals is now 29 points in Rowland’s favour.
Nyck de Vries claimed fourth for DAMS and was top rookie home, with Tom Dillmann fifth for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin despite an off-track moment at Chapel and another while attacking Gustav Malja for position, although he got his revenge on the Swede by passing him late in the race.
Egor Orudzhev and Nicholas Latifi were involved in the intense battle behind Jaafar, and finished nose-to-tail in seventh and eighth, while Roy Nissany moved from the back of the grid and survived an incident that saw Bruno Bonifacio of International Draco Racing end in the Stowe gravel trap.
Jaafar held on for tenth, with Alfonso Celis Jr retiring on the final lap while attacking the Malaysian driver for the final point on offer despite having started the race from the pit lane after his car failed to start on the parade lap.
The start was investigated but no action was taken, with Aurélien Panis, Nick Yelloly and Sean Gelael all failing to get off the line. No safety car was required, with Yelloly the only driver to resume the race, albeit a lap behind.
Dean Stoneman‘s race was over early when he suffered a left rear puncture on his Red Bull-backed DAMS machine.
Silverstone Race 1 Result
|1||11||Tio Ellinas||CYP||Strakka Racing||24 Laps|
|2||4||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||+8.025s|
|4||1||Nyck de Vries||NED||DAMS||+19.947s|
|5||26||Tom Dillmann||FRA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+21.459s|
|6||12||Gustav Malja||SWE||Strakka Racing||+24.387s|
|7||6||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||Arden Motorsport||+35.177s|
|8||5||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Arden Motorsport||+35.563s|
|9||17||Roy Nissany||ISR||Tech 1 Racing||+39.122s|
|10||3||Jazeman Jaafar||MAL||Fortec Motorsports||+43.841s|
|11||19||Pietro Fantin||BRZ||International Draco Racing||+56.276s|
|12||40||Will Bratt||GBR||Pons Racing||+1m02.106s|
|13/RET||15||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||AVF||+1 Lap|
|14||10||Nick Yelloly||GBR||Lotus||+1 Lap|
|RET||20||Bruno Bonifacio||BRZ||International Draco Racing||Retired|
|RET||39||Philo Paz Patric Armand||INO||Pons Racing||Retired|
|RET||18||Aurelien Panis||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||Retired|
|RET||25||Sean Gelael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||Retired|