Matthieu Vaxiviere passed Nyck de Vries at the final corner of the final lap to claim his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 Series victory in race two at Motorland Aragon.
The race initially started behind the safety car with the track wet after a downpour, and was then suspended with de Vries still in the lead when the heavens opened once more and the track conditions became treacherous.
Alarmingly for Vaxiviere, the Lotus driver initially did not get going again when the race resumed twenty minutes later, but was allowed to regain his second spot on the road.
When the safety car finally departed the racetrack, DAMS driver de Vries, racing in the colours of the McLaren F1 team, slowed the pack heading into the final hairpin, with the Dutchman then putting his foot down to take a large lead at the end of the first green flag lap. After that he and Vaxiviere pulled away from the rest of the field, with the Frenchman easing ever closer to the Dutchman almost on every lap.
The duo also pitted on the same lap, leaving the pits almost nose-to-tail, but it looked like de Vries had the race in his hands, and remained into the lead heading down the long back straight on the final lap, only to see Vaxiviere sweep around the outside and take the victory, the two banging wheels in the process.
Third place went to race one winner Oliver Rowland, with the Racing Steps Foundation-backed Fortec Motorsports driver finishing almost ten seconds adrift of Vaxiviere at the flag.
Tio Ellinas secured his first points of the season with fourth place for Strakka Racing, with Tom Dillmann claiming fifth for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, while Meindert van Buuren put in another strong performance in the second Lotus, climbing from thirteenth on the grid to finish sixth.
Provisionally seventh is Dean Stoneman in the second DAMS entry, but the Red Bull-backed Briton is under investigation for possibly speeding in the pit lane during his mandatory pit stop.
Jazeman Jaafar finished eighth for Fortec Motorsports, but will be disappointed to lose touch with team-mate Rowland after the pit stops, with the two having been together on the road up to then.
Alfonso Celis Jr had a feisty race to ninth for AVF, while Roberto Merhi finished tenth, taking the final point for Pons Racing, with the Spaniard holding off Bruno Bonifacio, Egor Orudzhev and Pietro Fantin at the line, the four drivers being covered by less than a second as they took the chequered flag.
Vaxiviere’s win will ease the pain of what happened in race one on Saturday, when the Frenchman lost his advantage of pole position with a mediocre start. But as is the nature with World Series by Renault, Sunday is another day.
Motorland Aragon Race 2 Result
|1||9||Matthieu Vaxiviere||FRA||Lotus||19 Laps|
|2||1||Nyck de Vries||NED||DAMS||+3.459s|
|3||4||Oliver Rowland||GBR||Fortec Motorsports||+9.926s|
|4||11||Tio Ellinas||CYP||Strakka Racing||+20.518s|
|5||26||Tom Dillmann||FRA||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+26.285s|
|6||10||Meindert van Buuren||NED||Lotus||+29.111s|
|8||3||Jazeman Jaafar||MAL||Fortec Motorsports||+32.629s|
|9||15||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||AVF||+34.717s|
|10||40||Roberto Merhi||ESP||Pons Racing||+48.122s|
|11||20||Bruno Bonifacio||BRZ||International Draco Racing||+48.303s|
|12||6||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||Arden Motorsport||+48.842s|
|13||19||Pietro Fantin||BRZ||International Draco Racing||+49.043s|
|14||18||Aurelien Panis||FRA||Tech 1 Racing||+1m00.323s|
|15||5||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Arden Motorsport||+1m10.161s|
|16||25||Sean Gelael||INO||Jagonya Ayam with Carlin||+1m11.014s|
|17||17||Roy Nissany||ISR||Tech 1 Racing||+1m11.100s|
|18||39||Philo Paz Patric Armand||INO||Pons Racing||+1m11.787s|
|20||12||Gustav Malja||SWE||Strakka Racing||+1 Lap|