Roberto Merhi took his second victory of the Formula Renault 3.5 Series season and moved up to second place in the championship as Carlos Sainz Jr and Oliver Rowland were eliminated in a first lap incident at the Nurburgring.
Having taken pole position in the morning, Merhi avoided the carnage that saw six drivers eliminated on the opening lap after front-row starter Oscar Tunjo of Pons Racing lightly tapped the Fortec Motorsport machine of Oliver Rowland into Carlos Sainz Jr of DAMS that took all three drivers out at the first corner. It was a shame for Sainz as he had made a great start and would have taken second had he not ended in the gravel trap.
A second incident in between turns two and three eliminated three more drivers, with Dutch female Beitske Visser of AV Formula, Finnish driver Matias Lainé of Strakka Racing and the second Pons Racing machine of Meindert van Buuren.
Once the safety car left the track to clear up the mess, Merhi controlled the race, but was never able to lose the attention of Matthieu Vaxiviere, with the Lotus driver having by far his best race of the season. The Frenchman, back on the grid after breaking a bone in his back in Monaco, finished only 1.373s behind Merhi.
Lotus had a good day as Marlon Stockinger also finished on the podium in third, and he held off the advances of Sergey Sirotkin just after the pit stops, but eventually pulled away from the Russian of Fortec Motorsports.
Zoel Amberg finished fifth for AV Formula, right on the tail of Sirotkin ahead of him, with Norman Nato of DAMS who took advantage of the carnage ahead of him to move from fourteenth up to sixth. Will Stevens was seventh for Strakka Racing ahead of Pierre Gasly, who salvaged some points after a dreadful weekend for Arden Motorsport in eighth.
Jazeman Jaafar was ninth for ISR with William Buller claiming the final point in tenth for Arden Motorsport. Debutants Cameron Twynham and Alfonso Celis Jr both finished, with Comtec Racing driver Twynham just outside the points in eleventh, and Tech 1 Racing driver Celis Jr just behind him in twelfth, ahead of his more experienced team-mate Marco Sorensen.
Sainz Jr continues to lead the championship but is now followed by fellow Spaniard Merhi, with 39 points separating the two. Gasly has slipped to third a further 15 points adrift.
Nurburgring Race 2 Result
|1||Roberto Merhi||ESP||Zeta Corse||43m22.428s|
|4||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||Fortec Motorsports||+15.515s|
|5||Zoel Amberg||SWI||AV Formula||+16.422s|
|7||Will Stevens||GBR||Strakka Racing||+18.024s|
|8||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Arden Motorsport||+18.286s|
|10||William Buller||GBR||Arden Motorsport||+21.697s|
|11||Cameron Twynham||GBR||Comtec Racing||+25.786s|
|12||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||Tech 1 Racing||+26.411s|
|13||Roman Mavlanov||RUS||Zeta Corse||+30.638s|
|14||Marco Sorensen||DEN||Tech 1 Racing||+35.382s|
|15||Luca Ghiotto||ITA||International Draco Racing||+39.332s|
|RET||Pietro Fantin||BRZ||International Draco Racing||17 Laps|
|RET||Matias Lainé||FIN||Strakka Racing||1 Lap|
|RET||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||1 Lap|
|RET||Meindert van Buuren||NED||Pons Racing||1 Lap|
|RET||Carlos Sainz Jr||ESP||DAMS||0 Laps|
|RET||Beitske Visser||NED||AV Formula||0 Laps|
|RET||Oscar Tunjo||COL||Pons Racing||0 Laps|