Oliver Rowland got his Formula Renault 3.5 Series season off to the best possible start after taking the victory at Motorland Aragon despite finishing second on the road on Saturday.
The British driver finished behind Lotus driver Meindert van Buuren, but the Dutch driver was adjudged to have jumped the start and was penalised by the stewards with a twenty-second penalty. Rowland therefore was able to maintain the gap behind van Buuren and take the victory ahead of Fortec Motorsports team-mate Jazeman Jaafar.
Red Bull-backed Dean Stoneman completed the podium for DAMS after getting ahead of the slow starting polesitter Matthieu Vaxiviere, with the Lotus driver being edged out at the first corner by his team-mate and Rowland.
Vaxiviere could not find a way past Stoneman despite showing strong pace and was forced to settle for fourth, with van Buuren’s penalty seeing him classified fifth.
Pietro Fantin finished sixth for International Draco Racing after finding a way past Tom Dillmann, with the Jagonya Ayam with Carlin driver struggling for pace late in the race that saw him finish in ninth behind Nyck de Vries of DAMS and Nicholas Latifi of Arden Motorsport, while Gustav Malja recovered from starting at the back of the field after a post-qualifying penalty to finish in tenth for Strakka Racing.
It was a crazy start back in the pack, with Jagonya Ayam with Carlin’s Sean Geleal being eliminated at the first corner after a clash with Roy Nissany and Aurelien Panis in the two Tech 1 Racing machines, while Tio Ellinas was eliminated in another incident a few corners later.
Beitske Visser did not even make the start after a problem with her AVF car, while Egor Orudzhev, Alfonso Celis Jr and Roberto Merhi all retired from the race.
Motorland Aragon Race 1 Result
|1||4||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||42m06.315s|
|2||3||Jazeman Jaafar||MAL||Fortec Motorsports||+2.117s|
|5||10||Meindert van Buuren||NED||Lotus||+16.394s|
|6||19||Pietro Fantin||BRZ||International Draco Racing||+20.368s|
|7||1||Nyck de Vries||NED||DAMS||+27.330s|
|8||5||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Arden Motorsport||+32.844s|
|9||26||Tom Dillmann||FRA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+35.757s|
|10||12||Gustav Malja||SWE||Strakka Racing||+35.891s|
|11||20||Bruno Bonifacio||BRZ||International Draco Racing||+54.408s|
|12||18||Aurelien Panis||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||+1m11.935s|
|13||39||Philo Paz Patric Armand||INO||Pons Racing||+1 Lap|
|14||17||Roy Nissany||ISR||Tech 1 Racing||+1 Lap|
|15||40||Roberto Merhi||ESP||Pons Racing||20 Laps|
|16||15||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||AVF||15 Laps|
|17||6||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||Arden Motorsport||2 Laps|
|18||11||Tio Ellinas||CYP||Strakka Racing||0 Laps|
|19||16||Beitske Visser||NED||AVF||0 Laps|
|20||25||Sean Gelael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||0 Laps|