Orudzhev takes Le Mans win, Rowland secures title

Egor Orudzhev claimed his second victory of the season around the Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans but Oliver Rowland did all he needed to do to secure the Formula Renault 3.5 Series championship on Sunday.

Arden Motorsport’s Orudzhev was able to capitalise on slow pit stops for some of his rivals and a slow start from Lotus driver Matthieu Vaxiviere for the win, while Rowland’s eighth placed, coupled with Vaxiviere’s failure to take victory was enough to become champion.

Tio Ellinas initially retained the lead at the start from pole position, but the Strakka Racing driver suffered a slow pit stop to drop behind Orudzhev, and then was forced to defend stoutly until the chequered flag to claim the final podium finish ahead of DAMS driver Dean Stoneman.

After a slow start from the front row, Vaxiviere found himself down in seventh, and his Lotus team decided to make a late stop to try and make up the time lost, and it almost worked for the Frenchman, who came out just behind Orudzhev.

But the Russian driver held on for the victory, surviving a final attempt from Vaxiviere at the final corner on the final lap that saw the Lotus driver slide through the gravel trap on the exit of the corner.

Tom Dillmann finished fifth for Jagonya Ayam with Carlin, but was another driver to lose out heavily in his pit stop, dropping out of the battle for the lead as a result, while Aurélien Panis finished sixth for Tech 1 Racing, just ahead of Orudzhev’s Canadian team-mate Nicholas Latifi.

Rowland moved up from fourteenth on the grid to claim eighth for Fortec Motorsports to clinch the title, finishing ahead of Strakka Racing’s Gustav Malja and DAMS’ Nyck de Vries.

The safety car had to be dispatched on lap five when Yu Kanamaru of Pons Racing collided with Andre Negrao of International Draco Racing, with Negrao being launched into a roll as a result, with both drivers retiring.

Le Mans Race 2 Result

16Egor OrudzhevRUSArden Motorsport41m29.261s
29Matthieu VaxiviereFRALotus+2.388s
311Tio EllinasCYPStrakka Racing+9.075s
42Dean StonemanGBRDAMS+10.283s
526Tom DillmannFRAJagonya Ayam with Carlin+10.889s
618Aurelien PanisFRATech 1 Racing+14.193s
75Nicholas LatifiCANArden Motorsport+14.994s
84Oliver RowlandGBRFortec Motorsports+18.221s
912Gustav MaljaSWEStrakka Racing+19.017s
101Nyck de VriesNEDDAMS+19.379s
1110Marlon StockingerPHILotus+20.577s
1217Roy NissanyISRTech 1 Racing+20.886s
1316Beitske VisserNEDAVF+26.834s
143Jazeman JaafarMALFortec Motorsports+27.396s
1540Nikita ZlobinRUSPons Racing+27.653s
1615Alfonso Celis JrMEXAVF+31.223s
1725Sean GelaelINOJagonya Ayam with Carlin+36.781s
RET19Andre NegraoBRZInternational Draco RacingRetired
RET39Yu KanamaruJAPPons RacingRetired