Ellinas dominates to take maiden FR3.5 victory

Tio Ellinas was untouchable at Silverstone as he strode to his maiden Formula Renault 3.5 Series victory on Saturday afternoon at the home circuit of his Strakka Racing team.

The Cypriot driver defended the challenge of Jazeman Jaafar into the first handful of corners, but pulled out a substantial gap at the front and was able to consolidate his position at the end of the race to win by 8.025s.

Jaafar suffered a damaged front nose on the opening lap against Ellinas’ Strakka  car, and then did his best to hold off a train of cars behind him before ultimately dropping back down the field, ultimately being lucky to finish inside the top ten.

Racing Steps Foundation-backed Oliver Rowland was able to capitalise on the mayhem to sneak passed both Matthieu Vaxiviere and Jaafar to move into second, with Vaxiviere then following through into third for Lotus, but the gap in the championship between the two rivals is now 29 points in Rowland’s favour.

Nyck de Vries claimed fourth for DAMS and was top rookie home, with Tom Dillmann fifth for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin despite an off-track moment at Chapel and another while attacking Gustav Malja for position, although he got his revenge on the Swede by passing him late in the race.

Egor Orudzhev and Nicholas Latifi were involved in the intense battle behind Jaafar, and finished nose-to-tail in seventh and eighth, while Roy Nissany moved from the back of the grid and survived an incident that saw Bruno Bonifacio of International Draco Racing end in the Stowe gravel trap.

Jaafar held on for tenth, with Alfonso Celis Jr retiring on the final lap while attacking the Malaysian driver for the final point on offer despite having started the race from the pit lane after his car failed to start on the parade lap.

The start was investigated but no action was taken, with Aurélien Panis, Nick Yelloly and Sean Gelael all failing to get off the line. No safety car was required, with Yelloly the only driver to resume the race, albeit a lap behind.

Dean Stoneman‘s race was over early when he suffered a left rear puncture on his Red Bull-backed DAMS machine.

Silverstone Race 1 Result

111Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing24 Laps
24Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports+8.025s
39Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus+9.017s
41Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS+19.947s
526Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin+21.459s
612Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing+24.387s
76Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport+35.177s
85Nicholas LatifiCANArden Motorsport+35.563s
917Roy NissanyISRTech 1 Racing+39.122s
103Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports+43.841s
1119Pietro FantinBRZInternational Draco Racing+56.276s
1240Will BrattGBRPons Racing+1m02.106s
13/RET15Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF+1 Lap
1410Nick YellolyGBRLotus+1 Lap
RET16Beitske VisserNEDAVFRetired
RET20Bruno BonifacioBRZInternational Draco RacingRetired
RET39Philo Paz Patric ArmandINOPons RacingRetired
RET2Dean StonemanGBRDAMSRetired
RET18Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 RacingRetired
RET25Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with CarlinRetired