Ellinas beats Malja and the weather to take Nurburgring win

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

111Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing42m32.506s
212Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing+2.240s
31Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS+4.430s
415Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF+11.016s
56Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport+14.109s
62Dean StonemanGBRDAMS+17.793s
710Marlon StockingerPHILotus+21.187s
840Rene BinderAUTPons Racing+23.461s
919Pietro FantinBRZInternational Draco Racing+29.803s
104Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports+30.240s
119Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus+34.088s
1220Bruno BonifacioBRZInternational Draco Racing+35.926s
1339Yu KanamaruJAPPons Racing+37.609s
1426Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin+40.166s
1516Beitske VisserNEDAVF+51.188s
1625Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with Carlin+1m24.729s
173Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports+1 Lap
1817Roy NissanyISRTech 1 Racing+1 Lap
RET18Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 RacingRetired
RET5Nicholas LatifiCANArden MotorsportRetired