Tom Dillmann took the most important victory of his career as he clinched the 2016 Formula V8 3.5 championship at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday.
Starting seventh on the grid while title rival Louis Deletraz was on pole position, the two drivers headed into the first turn fourth and fifth, with Deletraz having a disappointing getaway to fall behind Matevos Isaakyan, Roy Nissany and Pietro Fittipaldi, while Dillmann jumped ahead of Rene Binder and a slow starting Jack Aitken.
Dillmann trailed Deletraz until the pit stop window opened before jumping into the pits for his mandatory stop, and when Deletraz pitted a lap later in a bid to cover his rival, the Fortec Motorsports driver watched as the AVF by Adrian Vallés driver swept ahead.
It would become worse for Deletraz as Nissany and Fittipaldi pitted and remained ahead of the Swiss driver but behind Dillmann, while Isaakyan’s race winning challenge faded due to a slow stop that saw him slip in behind Deletraz to fifth.
When all the pit stops were completed, Dillmann was now in the lead and in control of his own destiny, as even second place would not have been enough for Deletraz to take the championship, and the Frenchman remained in control throughout and took the chequered flag for both the win and the championship.
Nissany took his Lotus to second, shadowing Isaakyan in the early stages before following Dillmann home, while Fittipaldi ended his rookie season with his first podium finish, just ahead of his disappointed team-mate Deletraz.
Following his slow pit stop, Isaakyan claimed fifth for SMP Racing ahead of Rene Binder of Lotus, while Egor Orudzhev took seventh for Arden Motorsport despite having to start the race from the pit lane after stalling on the grid and necessitating a second formation lap.
Beitske Visser and Yu Kanamaru finished eighth and tenth for Teo Martin Motorsport, and following his bad start where he run across the run-off at turn one, Jack Aitken claimed ninth for RP Motorsport.
Thomas Randle was eleventh for Comtec Racing, taking a brief turn in the lead during the pit stop cycle, ahead of a pair of drivers who clashed early in the race and both ending with penalties – Aurélien Panis and Alfonso Celis Jr.
Celis Jr was penalised ten seconds for a grid infraction, but Panis took a twenty-second penalty after failing to take his pit stop within the designated pit stop window.
Circuit de Catalunya Race 2 Result
|3||2||Pietro Fittipaldi||BRZ||Fortec Motorsports||+10.434|
|4||1||Louis Deletraz||SWI||Fortec Motorsports||+12.489|
|5||24||Matevos Isaakyan||RUS||SMP Racing||+12.998|
|7||7||Egor Orudzhev||RUS||Arden Motorsport||+16.262|
|8||6||Beitske Visser||NED||Teo Martin Motorsport||+39.609|
|9||21||Jack Aitken||GBR||RP Motorsport||+41.250|
|10||25||Yu Kanamaru||JAP||Teo Martin Motorsport||+41.923|
|11||17||Thomas Randle||AUS||Comtec Racing||+50.593|
|12||8||Aurelien Panis||FRA||Arden Motorsport||+1:02.624|
|13||15||Alfonso Celis Jr||MEX||AVF||+1:03.024|
|14||20||Giuseppe Cipriani||ITA||Durango Racing Team||+1 Lap|
|RET||23||Matthieu Vaxiviere||FRA||SMP Racing||Retired|
|RET||22||Vitor Baptista||BRZ||RP Motorsport||Retired|