Aurélien Panis revels in maiden 3.5 triumph

Aurélien Panis secured his maiden Formula V8 3.5 Series victory in race two at Motorland Aragon on Sunday, and felt it made amends for his disappointment in Saturday’s season opener.

The Arden Motorsport driver secured victory ahead of fellow Frenchman Tom Dillmann after getting the better getaway at the start of the race, and held on until the chequered flag despite constant pressure from the AVF driver.

Panis is jointly leading the Drivers’ Championship heading out of Spain, and is now looking for more victories with the series heading to the Hungaroring this weekend for round two.

“Saturday’s qualifying was difficult for me, I wasn’t feeling 100% in the car and I didn’t manage to put in a good lap,” said Panis. “So I was a bit disappointed with this qualifying.

“The race in the afternoon was better. I was happy to finish top 5. I had a decent start and the first lap was a bit difficult but we had good race, the car was good and it’s a nice result to finish fifth.

“Sunday was a great day for me! I had a really good qualifying session and finished second, with last lap being my best. I had a good start in race two, I overtook Dillmann on the first corner but it was hard from there, Dillmann was quick and I was working hard to hold him off.

“The team did a very good job in the pit stop, they were quick and we managed to create a gap to Dillmann and to hold him off to the end. I am very happy for the first weekend with Arden, big thanks to them.

“The car was really good, the pit stop was perfect. Now I’m looking forward to Budapest to try to continue in this way.”