Formula Renault 3.5

Ellinas beats Malja and the weather to take Nurburgring win

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Tio Ellinas survived a clash with Oliver Rowland and inclement weather to claim his second Formula Renault 3.5 Series victory in as many weeks, leading home Gustav Malja to a first-ever Strakka Racing 1-2 finish in the championship.

The result looked unlikely in the early laps when both drivers pitted to replace nosecones, Ellinas after hitting championship leader Rowland after the British driver bogged down at the start, with Rowland being spun around and being relegated to the back of the pack as a result.

The race had started on a damp track, and Pietro Fantin assumed the lead for International Draco Racing at the start, with Tom Dillmann and Aurélien Panis gambling on wet weather tyres to move into second and third, but before long it became apparent dry weather tyres were the way to go.

Those drivers struggling soon headed to the pits, but Panis’ race was over when he stopped on track on the outside of turn one, which brought out the safety car.

Those who had already pitted were better placed than those who hadn’t, with Fantin, Matthieu Vaxiviere, Rowland and Dean Stoneman all deciding to gamble on staying out, but none of the drivers were able to make a big enough gap to be able to stay in front once their mandatory pit stops were taken.

Ellinas managed to jump Malja on the restart after the safety car, which turned into the lead once those ahead of him had pitted, and despite rain returning over the closing laps, he was able to secure his second victory in as many weeks, although team-mate Malja gave him a big scare on the penultimate lap, passing the Cypriot driver briefly before dropping back behind him again.

McLaren Junior driver Nyck de Vries claimed his second podium finish of the weekend for DAMS despite having started ninth, while Fantin took fourth, although he was penalised twenty-seconds post-race for a pit stop violation that relegated the Brazilian to ninth.

Alfonso Celis Jr inherited fourth place as a result for his best finish of the season for AVF, with Russian Egor Orudzhev fifth for Arden Motorsport and Stoneman sixth for DAMS.

Marlon Stockinger climbed from nineteenth on the grid to claim seventh for Lotus ahead of Rene Binder of Pons Racing, while Rowland could only salvage tenth for Fortec Motorsports behind the penalised Fantin, passing championship rival Vaxiviere on track and surviving a second spin.

Nurburgring Race 2 Result

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