Both Tio Ellinas and Gustav Malja survived the weather and the crazy Formula Renault 3.5 Series race on Sunday at the Nurburgring to take Strakka Racing’s first ever one-two finish in the championship.
Cypriot driver Ellinas took his second victory in as many weeks following his race one triumph at Silverstone, but was surprised to see himself in the lead following an early trip during the pit stop window to change a damaged front wing, but felt Strakka Racing did a fantastic job to get their drivers into the top two positions.
“It was a very long race,” said Ellinas. “I got a good start, tried to overtake for P3 [at the end of lap one] but had my front wing chopped and had a broken front wing until I pitted. I was hanging in there and then, at the stop, we changed the front wing.
“I kept my head down and tried to go as quick as I could. I’m delighted for the win, the team did a really good job and we judged it well. I was trying dry lines at the end but when I could see Gustav closing, I knew I had to change my lines!”
Team-mate Malja was delighted to take a season’s best finish in second, and admitted the final lap of the race was ‘intense’ as he fought for his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 Series victory.
“The final lap was the most intense of my career,” said Malja. “I made it past Tio in the Mercedes Arena [on the last lap] but then I had some wheel spin on the exit and he got back in front.
“It’s an amazing result for myself and for the team – they made a fantastic pit stop and I think we all deserve this following all the hard work we’ve put in.”