Egor Orudzhev became the first driver to win twice in Formula V8 3.5 in 2016 as he fought off the valiant challenge of Roy Nissany to triumph in race one at Paul Ricard on Saturday.
Orudzhev also capitalised on a car issue with early race leader Matthieu Vaxiviere, who appeared to lose some straight-line speed in the closing laps that saw him drop out of race winning contention and fall ultimately down to fifth at the chequered flag.
Arden Motorsport’s Orudzhev was forced to defend from Lotus driver Nissany over the closing stages, especially in the final sector when the Israeli driver seemed to have a pace advantage over the Russian race leader.
Nissany twice made a move into the final corner only to be repelled by Orudzhev, who went on to claim the victory by just 0.541 seconds.
Rene Binder made it a good day for Lotus by completing the podium having been another driver to capitalise on Vaxiviere’s problems, while Tom Dillmann saw his run of podium finishes come to an end, although the Frenchman did extend his championship lead by finishing fourth for AVF.
SMP Racing’s Vaxiviere struggled home to fifth, just ahead of Louis Deletraz of Fortec Motorsports, who had found himself looking at the back of the Teo Martin Motorsport’s Yu Kanamaru for much of the race, only finding a way passed the Japanese racer on the final lap.
Aurélien Panis was eighth for Arden Motorsport after starting from the pit lane after failing to get away from the grid on the formation lap, with the Frenchman finishing just ahead of Dutch female racer Beitske Visser of Teo Martin Motorsport.
The final point went to Matevos Isaakyan of SMP Racing, who caused an aborted start when he stalled on the grid, meaning the Russian teenager started the race in the pit lane just behind Panis. Isaakyan had made a great move on Alfonso Celis Jr to claim the final point, finishing inside the top ten for only the second time in seven races.
Contact with Vitor Baptista saw Pietro Fittipaldi retire from the race in the second Fortec at turn six that saw the grandson of two-time Formula 1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi be pitched onto two wheels, which broke his rear suspension. RP Motorsport’s Baptista continued for a few more laps before also becoming a retiree.
Paul Ricard Race 1 Result
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