A great pit stop from his Arden Motorsport crew gave Aurélien Panis the opportunity to claim his second Formula V8 3.5 victory of 2016, and the Frenchman took the chance with both hands at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday.
Matevos Isaakyan converted his maiden pole position into the lead at the start, and looked comfortable out front for SMP Racing, surviving an early safety car period when Giuseppe Cipriani spun out into the gravel trap, but a slight delay in his own stop dropped him down to third behind Panis and Tom Dillmann.
Panis had taken the opportunity to pit early in the pit stop window, and jumped a number of places having run fourth in the early laps, but once in the lead never put a foot wrong, and even survived a late race charge from Dillmann to win.
Dillmann extended his championship lead to forty points with second place, with the AVF by Adrian Vallés passing the pit lane just as Isaakyan emerged from it, and pulled away from the young Russian to finish just 0.676 seconds behind Panis.
Isaakyan completed the podium, his first in the championship, and the first time he’s finished higher than tenth this season.
Louis Deletraz battled to fourth despite running second in the early laps for Fortec Motorsports, and held off the challenge of Egor Orudzhev in the closing laps, the two switching places twice before Deletraz claimed the position at the chequered flag.
It was a relatively quiet afternoon for Matthieu Vaxiviere, who could not manage to match his race one victory from Saturday, running third in the early laps and pressurising Deletraz before dropping back to sixth at the chequered flag.
Alfonso Celis Jr secured more points with seventh for AVF ahead of Vitor Baptista of RP Motorsport, while Beitske Visser of Teo Martin Motorsport and Marco Bonanomi of RP Motorsport completed the top ten and the points scorers.
A slow pit stop left Pietro Fittipaldi outside the points for Fortec Motorsports, while it was a disappointing day for the Lotus drivers, with Rene Binder stalling in the pits and falling to the rear of the field, although he did finish ahead of team-mate Roy Nissany.
Nissany, who was in the lower reaches of the points before he hit Yu Kanamaru at turn five, saw himself make an additional pit stop to replace his front wing, while Kanamaru unfortunately was forced into retirement with a puncture in the gravel trap.
Red Bull Ring Race 2 Result
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