Despite late pressure, Alfonso Celis Jr held on to take his maiden World Series Formula V8 3.5 victory at Spa-Francorchamps. The Fortec Motorsport driver returns to the top step for the first time since 2011 when he won his national 1800cc Touring car series.
Celis Jr. would start the race from the front, making a strong getaway and pulling away as his rivals squabbled behind. It had been a disaster from Pietro Fittipaldi though, with the Brazilian missing a gear at the start and dropping to the back.
This gave a golden opportunity for Egor Orudzhev to gain ground in the championship, with the Russian quickly working his way up to fourth, within the opening lap, from tenth.
Elsewhere, his teammate Matevos Isaakyan picked up a puncture as he was battling in the midfield. He eventually stopped at Stavelot suffering from further technical issues.
The race continued, but it was already proving difficult for Rene Binder, who was quickly disposed of by Roy Nissany, before dropping further back over the course of the race. His demise would be notable as he out-braked himself on multiple occasions.
Celis meanwhile, spent the encounter managing the gap to Nissany. He surprised his team but locking up despite not being under pressure and losing critical time, he would get a flat spot, winning by under two seconds.
Completing the podium would be Orudzhev gaining a just reward for a spectacular fight from the back of the grid. With Fittipaldi finishing eighth, he closed up the gap in the championship to a mere three points.
Diego Menchaca held on to his grid position to take fourth, with the battle for fifth continuing until the final lap when Binder again ran wide handing the position to Yu Kanamaru, with Damiano Fiovanti settling for seventh.
Fittipaldi’s lonely run to eighth would not help his championship run, as Nelson Mason took ninth after a failed overtake on Menchaca early in the race dropped him to the back. Finally, Konstantin Tereschenko would round out the top ten, with Giuseppe Cipriani and Isaakyan retiring early on.